A market correction will hold more surprises for bank purchasers of variable annuities than for purchasers through other channels, an insurance executive told a group of insurers this week.

The roaring success of the bull market has helped shroud the risks of uninsured products, said Larry Norman, president of the financial markets division of Aegon USA Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Furthermore, he said, the "FDIC Insured" painted in gold letters on a bank's door makes an impression.

Bank customers have a different outlook from those who buy annuities from a Merrill Lynch, said Mr. Norman, who spoke at a variable annuities conference in New York.

"You go to a bank to get rich?" he asked. "No one I know does." At banks, he said, customers think they are putting money in a coffee can in the backyard.

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