Thanks to a partnership between The Hartford Financial Services Group and 13 American banks, selling insurance is becoming as simple as originating mortgages-and vice versa.

Among the insurance company's bank partners: Mellon Bank, PNC Bank, National City, Fleet Financial Group, Advanta and First Union Corp., which became the first bank to sign on in May 1997, says Charles Carter, senior vice president and director of financial institutions and commercial affinity for The Hartford, which is targeting distribution via the top-50 banks. Six other large banks are in the works. "We've been looking very hard for new channels of distribution. We're in an extremely competitive marketplace," says Carter.

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