Aetna Life and Annuity Co., Hartford, Conn., has nabbed another client in its effort to push into sales through bank branches.

Bank United of Texas, Houston, recently signed up to sell the insurance company's variable annuities.

Since launching a financial institutions unit at the beginning of this year, Aetna has struck deals with four banks to sell its variable and fixed annuities, said Robert K. O'Mara, national director overseeing the bank sales effort.

In addition to Bank United, the annuity clients are Centura Banks, Rocky Mount, N.C., First Bank System, Minneapolis, and Independence Community Bank Corp., Brooklyn, N.Y.

Centura and First Bank System also sell Aetna life insurance, and Mr. O'Mara said the company was getting ready to sign an agreement with Huntington Bancshares, Columbus, Ohio, to do the same.

Mr. O'Mara added that he has seen an increase in the number of banks interested in selling life insurance.

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