More banks are selling investment products to more people, according to a survey released Thursday by the American Bankers Association.

Thirty-nine percent of the people who bought investment products from banks last year were new customers. That's up from 23% in 1994.

"This 16% increase proves that banks have made great strides in marketing beyond their brick and mortar, which is the key to success in the securities business," said Richard A. Ayotte, chief executive of American Brokerage Consultants Inc., St. Petersburg, Fla., which did the study.

Overall sales increased at 80% of the banks surveyed; 15% said volume was flat; and 5% said sales had decreased from 1995.

By yearend, 91% of the 3,000 banks selling investment products offered mutual funds, up from 70% in 1994; 85% offered annuities, up from 66%.

Banks also have hired more people to sell investment products, the survey found. Twenty-nine percent of the 1,309 banks contacted said they had added to their investment products sales forces, while 4% said they had reduced payrolls in this area.

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