Boatmen's Bancshares said it has applied to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis to set up a subsidiary, BIS Inc., to sell personal and commercial lines of insurance - including health, life, auto, and liability.

While many banks awaited last week's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that brushed aside state barriers in certain cases and gave national banks the ability to sell insurance in small towns, the $41 billion-asset St. Louis company has been quietly working to set up insurance operations in Des Moines.

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