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RICE OUTLINES FIVE KEY STRATEGIES AT BARNETT ANNUAL MEETING

 RICE OUTLINES FIVE KEY STRATEGIES AT BARNETT ANNUAL MEETING
 JACKSONVILLE, Fla., April 7 /PRNewswire/ -- "We have five key strategies to prosper in the 1990s," Barnett Banks, Inc. (NYSE: BBI) Chairman Charles E. Rice told today's annual meeting of shareholders.
 Those strategies include improving productivity, strengthening capital, establishing a premier sales and service culture, ensuring the company is in the right businesses, and shrinking non-performing assets.
 Rice told shareholders that Barnett would continue to centralize support functions when they don't impact customer service. He noted that Barnett had fewer employees at the end of 1991 than at the end of 1987. Since then, the company has grown by more than $9 billion.
 In the last year, Barnett has raised more than $700 million in regulatory capital and increased its total risk-based capital ratio to more than 11 percent, compared to a regulatory requirement of 8 percent.
 A company task force headed by Barnett president Allen L. Lastinger Jr. is implementing a strategy aimed at differentiating Barnett through superior sales and service. The company is also establishing business line priorities based on a recently completed business unit profitability study.
 Rice told shareholders that credit quality stabilized in 1991. He noted that Barnett has the second lowest ratio of non-performing assets among the Florida operations of the state's four largest banks.
 "Our mission is to create value for our owners, our customers and our employees," Rice said. "We will operate at the lowest possible cost consistent with maintaining service quality and market leadership.
 "Our industry is changing faster than at any time in history. We are sure that if we do the five things I have described, the value of your investment should be significantly enhanced," he said.
 Rice also told shareholders that the company would begin declaring dividends in the second month of every quarter, instead of the first month. This change is based on a study which found a majority of the 25 largest banks consider dividends at the board meeting closest to the record date. Record and payment dates are not affected.
 Shareholders voted to reelect these five directors for three-year terms:
 -- Walter H. Alford, executive vice president and general counsel
 of BellSouth Corporation in Atlanta, Ga.
 -- Dr. Rita Bornstein, president of Rollins College in Winter
 Park, Fla.
 -- Jean McArthur Davis, chairman of McArthur Farms Inc. in Miami.
 -- Clarence V. McKee, chairman, president, and chief executive
 officer of WTVT Inc. and owner of WTVT, Channel 13, in Tampa,
 Fla.
 -- Charles E. Rice, chairman and chief executive officer of
 Barnett Banks, Inc.
 With $32.9 billion in assets and 592 offices in Florida and Georgia, Barnett Banks, Inc. is Florida's largest banking company and the 20th-largest in the United States. Its stock (BBI) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
 -0- 4/7/92
 /CONTACT: Bob Stickler (media), 904-791-5437 (office) or 904-396-9284 (home); or Helen Rowan (analysts), 904-791-7627 (office) or 904-272-6915 (home), both of Barnett Banks, Inc./
 (BBI) CO: Barnett Banks, Inc. ST: Florida IN: FIN SU:


JJ-JB -- FL006 -- 5800 04/07/92 11:31 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 7, 1992
Words:506
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