Bank representatives' productivity declined in May, according to the latest Bank Insurance and Securities Association monthly sales productivity benchmark.

A choppy market made sales challenging for bank reps, particularly when it came to mutual funds. And though sales of fixed and variable annuities rose slightly, life insurance sales dropped significantly.

Advisers averaged $22,485 in fee and commission revenue in May, down 22% from April but predictably so, because April is when the first quarter's fees come in. "May wasn't too bad of a month," said Scott Stathis, the chief operating officer and managing director of Kehrer-Limra, which compiles the data for BISA. "It could have been a lot worse."

Kehrer-Limra's Rate Watch report notes that the effective yields on annuities and Treasuries have crossed over so that a five-year annuity now pays less than a five-year certificate of deposit. "That doesn't bode well for fixed annuities, which drive a lot of this stuff," Stathis said.

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