The sale of mutual funds, annuities, and other investment products is frequently cited as an important growth opportunity for commercial banks, and many bankers have looked to the sale of investment products to retain customer relationships and boost profits.

With the high stock market returns and explosive growth of mutual funds since 1994, one might expect that mutual fund and annuity sales would make up a rapidly growing share of banks' business.Some 1,450 U.S. banking organizations, or about 20% of the industry, sell third-party or proprietary mutual funds or annuities.

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