PEAPACK, N.J. - Cross Marketing Inc., a firm that distributes mutual funds and annuities to banks, has begun a program to certify homes for flood insurance.

Banks need to know if they've loaned money to homeowners who lack flood insurance because regulators don't let banks securitize loans without ascertaining the risks of those loans.

Cross Marketing has entered an agreement to be the exclusive marketer of the flood certification services of National Research Center, Burnsville, N.C.

Founded in 1978, National Research is a leading certifier of flood insurance, according to Cross Marketing. Fleet Financial Group, Providence, R.I., is one of its clients.

The move is part of the Cross Marketing's strategy to penetrate other areas of banks, including lending departments.

Cross Marketing has 150 bank clients and was recently endorsed as an annuity provider by America's Community Bankers, the leading trade group for thrifts and savings banks.

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