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BARNETT PURCHASES INSURANCE AGENCY IN RESPONSE TO INSURANCE CRISIS IN FLORIDA

 BELLEVIEW, Fla., Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Barnett Banks, Inc. (NYSE: BBI) announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary, Barnett Bank of Marion County, N.A., has purchased the Linda Clifford Insurance Agency in a private transaction.
 "This acquisition fits our strategic plan to broaden our product line in order to meet customers' financial needs," said Charles E. Rice, Barnett's chairman and chief executive officer.
 "Over time, we expect Barnett's leadership position in financial services to help attract new underwriters to our state," he said. "By providing new sources of insurance in Florida, we can help alleviate the insurance crisis that has hit some areas. We think Barnett's entry into this business means more availability and a better deal for the consumer over the long run."
 The Clifford agency, with annual premiums of $2 million, sells property, casualty and life insurance. Barnett will maintain the current activities of the agency and Linda Clifford will remain as the principal agent.
 Barnett has bought the agency under a federal law that allows national banks to owns and operate insurance agencies from towns with less than 5,000 residents. Banks in many other states are already successfully meeting their markets' needs by selling insurance.
 With $37 billion in assets and 632 offices in Florida and Georgia, Barnett Banks, Inc. is the leading financial institution in Florida and the 19th-largest in the United States. The company's stock (BBI) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
 -0- 10/20/93
 /CONTACT: Bob Stickler (media), 904-791-5437, or home, 904-396-9284, or Susan Friloux (analysts), 904-791-7627 or home, 904-246-2965, both of Barnett Banks/
 (BBI)


CO: Barnett Banks, Inc.; Barnett Bank of Marion County, N.A.; Linda
 Clifford Insurance Agency ST: Florida IN: FIN INS SU: TNM


AW-JV -- FL005 -- 4475 10/20/93 10:23 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 20, 1993
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