Bank brokerages are opening their doors wider than ever to big-name mutual fund and securities firms - a move once considered akin to letting the fox into the henhouse.

Last week, mutual fund giant Zurich-Kemper Investments began helping banks devise a written business plan for their brokerages, working with them to set goals for their investment representatives and mutual funds. At the same time, a top-level executive from Smith Barney Inc. said her company is considering selling funds through banks.

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