Insurers' effort against banks can continue


The Justice Department said yesterday that its antitrust division had dropped an investigation into efforts by the insurance industry to prevent banks from issuing annuities, a popular form of retirement savings.

This means that life insurers and, in particular, their large trade group, the American Council of Life Insurance, can continue their campaign, attempting to persuade state insurance regulators and federal officials that banks should not be allowed to issue annuities.

Banks have become rapidly growing players in the annuity industry, which has historically been dominated by insurance companies.

The Justice Department began the investigation over concerns that the insurance industry campaign may have illegally restrained trade and violated the Sherman Antitrust Act.

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