Bank brokers' productivity resumed growth in the first quarter, climbing to a record, according to the Bank Securities Association's Quarterly Productivity and Performance Report.
Monthly gross revenue per specialist broker at banks reached $31,209. This was a 30% increase from the fourth quarter average, when revenue per specialist rose only 1%. Revenue per bank branch broker grew to $2,392, up 40.7% from the fourth quarter and 79.6% from the year earlier.
Brokerage productivity was at the highest level since the Bank Securities Association began compiling its report in 1995. "The trend reflected in these numbers shows how strong the banking channel is," said Lincoln Yersin, president of the association.
Mr. Yersin said the growth should continue in the second quarter. In March, bank brokerage productivity was $36,954, up 11.2% from $33,208 in February.
Kenneth Kehrer, a principal at Kenneth Kehrer & Associates who prepared the report, said many banks have been training employees to sell investment products. "These averages are watered down a bit by bankers who are just getting their feet wet," Mr. Kehrer said. "As more banks license brokers, and these brokers continue to mature, you will see even greater growth."
The more telling numbers in the survey indicate the amount of penetration banks have in the brokerage market, Mr. Kehrer said. According to the survey, $2,187 per million dollars of deposits was spent on investment products at the typical bank, up 7% from $2,044 the previous quarter.
"Banks are out there, and they are generating more and more revenue," Mr. Kehrer said.
The report said the sales mix shifted toward mutual funds during the first quarter. Revenue from mutual fund sales grew to 32% of total bank broker revenue, from 27% in the previous quarter. Fixed annuities accounted for 26%, variable annuities 20%, and stocks and bonds 10%.