Come July 1, state-chartered banks in Florida will be able to sell insurance under a bill approved by the state Legislature this week.

The new law would remove the "town of 5,000" restriction on state- chartered banks, letting them sell insurance from anywhere in Florida.

It was endorsed by both the Florida Bankers Association and the Florida Association of Insurance Agents.

Jeff Grady, the president of the insurance group, said his agents backed the bill because it would let them form partnerships with community banks.

Under current law, "the smaller banks were the only ones not allowed to sell insurance," he said. "A lot of agents sit on boards of these small banks. They would like to work out business relationships with the banks."

Gov. Jeb Bush is expected to sign the legislation soon.

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