WASHINGTON - Signaling a change in position, a senior official at the Florida Department of Insurance said Friday that his office now believes that banks can sell annuities.

Donald Dowdell, an assistant general counsel at the insurance department, said the Supreme Court's recent decision in NationsBank v. Valic prevents the insurance commissioner from banning national bank annuity sales. Banking advocates noted that the position change also affects state banks because a wild-card statute gives state banks the same annuity powers as national banks.

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