Bank holding companies earned $2.84 billion from the sale of annuities in 2011, up 10.4% from the previous year, according to a report from Michael White Associates, a bank insurance consulting firm based in Radnor, Pa.

While annuity commissions were up for the year, they slowed significantly in the fourth quarter to $579.7 million, a 20.5% drop from the $729.5 million in the same quarter the year before. Annuity sales hit a record-setting $781.4 million in the second quarter of 2011, according to the stats. 

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