Hartford Life Inc. has set a sort of home run record, becoming the first underwriter to sell more than $1 billion of annuities through banks in a single quarter. It sold $1.1 billion of them that way in the second quarter, 22% more than in the first, mostly thanks to generally strong sales of variable annuities.

Underwriters sold 17% more variables through banks and other channels in the second quarter than in the first, according to Variable Annuities Research Data Service of Marietta, Ga.

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