Florida community banks are on the offensive, breaking advertising budgets on campaigns aimed at winning customers from Barnett Banks Inc. before NationsBank Corp. takes it over.

"Community banks have a window of opportunity," said Edward V. Lett, president and chief executive officer of TIB Bank of the Keys, Key Largo. "I could either bid on (divested) branches, and pay a stiff premium, or I can try to take the deposits."

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