A silver lining exists in the ongoing financial crisis for small banks with strong balance sheets — this is an ideal time for them to woo customers and executive talent from the faltering titans and to build their investment programs, according to third-party marketers.

"The larger banks are facing tougher times today, and community banks are positioning themselves to grow and seize opportunities in the marketplace," said LeAnn McCool, the national sales manager at Primevest, which supplies brokerage services to 350 small banks.

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