Regions Financial Corp. of Birmingham, Ala., is broadening the roster of annuity products it sells through its investment subsidiary.

The banking company's Regions Investment Co. is introducing two fixed annuities - one from Security Benefit Life Insurance Co. of Topeka, Kan., the other from John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co. of Boston - and a new variable annuity from John Hancock.

Regions sells another fixed annuity product from John Hancock, but this is to be its first offering from Security Benefit. The Kansas company is also to supply marketing assistance and training for sales representatives and branch employees.

Charles Wood, a senior vice president at Regions Investment, said the new products broaden the company's product base and revenue opportunities. Regions is pursuing risk-averse customers, he said.

"A bank customer has a lower risk tolerance on average," Mr. Wood said. "There will always be a need for this product."

Regions has sold fixed and variable annuities for about six years, Mr. Wood said. He declined to give sales figures, but Kenneth Kehrer, a principal of Kenneth Kehrer Associates of Princeton, N.J., estimated 1998 sales of $65 million. He had no estimate for 1999.

Regions Financial, which has $40 billion of assets, sells investment products through 700 branches in seven states.

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