Annuity sales through banks are on track to jump by one-third this year, to $16 billion, according Michael McCoy, senior vice president of the Holden Group.

Mr. McCoy's Los Angeles-based company is a leading marketer of annuities.

Banks account for one-quarter of all annuity sales, the executive noted. Annuities are also sold through brokerages and insurance agents, among other channels.

Popularity Rising

Annuities, which are tax-deferred investment contracts that create a stream of income for investors in their later years, have gained in popularity, partly because constomers expect tax rates to rise.

Customers have also grown more aware of annuities as banks and other distributors have stepped up marketing efforts, Mr. McCoy said.

More than 400 financial institutions, including more than 70 of the nation's top 100 banking companies, are offering the products, he said.

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