In a fresh sign that small banks are embracing the brokerage business, America's Community Bankers has entered into a strategic partnership with an investment marketing firm.

The trade group, which represents 2,000 thrifts and banks, has endorsed Money Concepts International Inc., a North Palm Beach, Fla., provider of investment services. The endorsement, which the ACB plans to announce to its members Monday, is similar to a Good Housekeeping seal of approval.

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