Average bank rep productivity improved dramatically in March, with commission plus fee production up 29% over February’s results to $32,296, according to the Bank Insurance and Securities Association’s latest Monthly Sales Productivity Benchmark.

“Sales by dedicated reps and platform reps were both up,” says Heywood Sloane, managing director of BISA. “Both are selling more product across the board.”

Most products were up 20% to 30%, adds Scott Stathis, managing director and chief operating officer of Kehrer-LIMRA, which provides the data for BISA’s benchmark. Growth in sales of both fixed and variable annuities both were at the high end, at 31% and 30%, respectively. But life insurance is a growing success story with sales up 23% and mutual fund sales grew by 21% in March.

Stathis says April’s figures, which normally would spike because that’s when quarterly fees are paid, may seem flat or even decrease compared to March’s high figures, but he’s confident a rise in sales across all product areas signifies a healthy trend for the industry. “I’d be surprised if we could maintain this pace,” he says. “But I’m sure when we look back later on, we’ll say that March was when things started looking up.”