The majority of customers are considering buying investment products or insurance from the financial institution where they do their checking, according to a recent study by Synergistics Research Corp.

The study of 889 checking account holders looked at the likelihood of customers to buy products in one of three categories -- investments, auto and home insurance, and life insurance. It found that 52% of respondents were "somewhat likely" to buy products in at least one of the categories, while 21% said they were "very likely."

The findings suggest there are significant opportunities for financial institutions such as banks to sell investments and insurance through their branch networks, said Genie M. Driskill, the senior vice president of research for the Atlanta-based firm.

Nonetheless, the results in the individual categories suggest financial institutions have a ways to go in their efforts to peak customers' interest.

Twenty-eight percent of respondents said they were "somewhat likely" to buy investment products such as mutual funds and annuities, while only 9% they were "very likely" to do so. Twenty percent said they were "somewhat likely" to buy auto or home insurance, and 14% said they were "very likely" to buy those products.

Meanwhile, 17% of respondents said they were "somewhat likely" to buy life insurance, while only 8% said they were "very likely" to buy it. -- Cheryl Winokur

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