JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Barnett Bank of Marion County has asked federal court to rule that Florida insurance regulators lack authority to impede its acquisition of a small-town insurance agency.

The case centers on the bank's purchase last week of the Linda Clifford Insurance Agency in Belleview, Fla. While the agency, which generates $2 million in annual premiums, is relatively small, the case is strategically significant because it tests whether federal law or state law governs bank insurance activities.

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