If Lee Gaudette, a third-generation independent agent based in Worcester, Mass., had a nickel for all the good reasons he doesn't sell banking products to his customers, he could probably open his own bank.Gaudette's sentiments are motivated by several factors, among them tradition, geography and competition. That's why Gaudette uses Insurebanc, a Farmington, Conn.-based federal savings bank established jointly by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) and W.R. Berkley Corp., for his own cash management purposes and for various loan products.

When Insurebanc debuted in 2001, the core function of its existence was to empower agents to generate bank business with their customers. In return, agents would receive a referral fee from Insurebanc, which conducts business on a national basis and is authorized to pay referral fees to agents in 18 states for all products and for services in six.

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