Banks' fixed annuity sales fell 16% in the fourth quarter from the previous quarter and 43% year over year, according to Beacon Research's Fixed Annuity Premium Study. That followed a 13% drop from the second to the third quarter.

Beacon's figures are based on a snapshot of 10 major banks, representing 86% of total sales. Those banks sold $285.6 million in fixed annuities in the fourth quarter, versus $292.4 million in the third quarter. Only three of the 10 — Wells Fargo, SunTrust and M&T Bank — managed to eke out single-digit, quarter-over-quarter growth.

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