An effort by First Union Corp. to direct noncustomer check cashers out of its Florida branches has sparked a lawsuit alleging violations of state and federal banking laws.

The lawsuit, filed in Miami federal court two weeks ago, takes issue with First Union's practice of charging $1 for each check cashed by a person who does not have an account at the bank. First Union began charging the fee last summer in Dade County and rolled it out statewide in September.

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