Fifth Third Securities Inc., the brokerage subsidiary of Fifth Third Bancorp, is getting into annuity sales.

Brokers will offer both fixed and variable annuities throughout the Cincinnati banking company's network in Ohio.

The brokerage views annuities "as a complement to our brokerage services and Fountain Square family of 10 stock and bond mutual funds," said Peter G. Bielan, vice president of Fifth Third Securities.

Mr. Bielan said the brokerage is enhancing its investment lineup because "consumer demand for retirement planning products, information, and services is at an all-time high."

Fixed annuities offer a guaranteed interest rate, while variable annuities offer the potential for long-term growth of principal.

The primary advantage of both fixed and variable annuities is that all earnings are tax-deferred until withdrawn from the account.

Fifth Third, a $15 billion-asset banking company, operates offices in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Florida.

The brokerage unit's 1994 revenues were up 10% over 1993 levels, according to Fifth Third's annual report.

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