Hartford, Conn. - Though Citigroup's recent sale of Travelers Life & Annuity to MetLife may appear to indicate that the "financial supermarket" idea of full-scale mergers is an untenable working model, banks and insurers continue to find ways to integrate their services, according to a new study by Conning Research and Consulting, Inc., Hartford, Conn.

The banking industry has determined that selling insurance is a profitable activity but that it is not necessary, or even desirable, to be the manufacturer of the product. Insurers have started or acquired banks to increase assets from customers. These approaches constitute the next phase in the integration of insurance and banking.

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