Jackson National Life Insurance Cos. has kicked off a program to fuel banks' interest in retail life insurance.

The Lansing, Mich., company has begun marketing two universal life insurance products through banks. Jackson National is supporting the rollout with marketing literature and financial planning software.

"We want our financial institution representatives to be able to compete in this market," said Bradley Powell, vice president overseeing Jackson National's bank effort. He said the company launched the sales effort in response to banks' demands for the products.

The company is fielding more calls than ever from bankers who are interested in offering insurance to branch customers, he said. "It's a hot topic out there."

Jackson National also sells its products through investment marketing firms, including Invest Financial Corp., which has made life insurance sales a focus this year.

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