The governor of Massachusetts is urging regulators to give small banks a crack at the huge volume of deposits and branches to be cast off in Fleet Financial Group's deal for BankBoston Corp.

Gov. Paul Cellucci sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno last week, asking the Justice Department to open the bidding to community banks. Because no small bank could swallow such a large chunk of deposits on its own, the governor has asked Justice to break the deposits and loans into pieces that smaller banks could handle.

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