OCALA, Fla. -- Barnett Banks Inc. said it was seeking an injunction in federal court here to block a ban on insurance sales by the state insurance commissioner. Barnett said the order against a branch in Belleview, Fla., is illegal under federal law.

As reported, Barnett filed suit last week in federal court here, asking for a ruling to confirm that federal law overrides the state statute the department is using to keep the bank from selling insurance.

Barnett said it bought the Linda Clifford Insurance Agency in Belleview under a federal law that allows national banks to own and operate insurance agencies from towns with fewer than 5,000 residents. The law, according to Barnett, was recently upheld by a federal Appeals Court ruling in Washington.

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