An Illinois bank last week charged in U.S. District Court that the state's insurance commissioner is improperly trying to keep the institution from selling annuities.

First National Bank and Trust Co., Carbondale, Ill., said in its complaint that the Supreme Court clearly gave banks the right to sell annuities in its 1995 Valic decision.

It asked the district court for an injunction against the insurance commissioner, who is asserting that the Valic decision did not resolve whether states can regulate, and thus ban, annuity sales.

Rather, the commissioner said, Valic only addressed whether the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency had the power to authorize bank annuity sales. A decision on the injunction is expected shortly.

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