WASHINGTON — When federal regulators proposed allowing financial holding companies to broker real estate, most industry representatives thought approval would be a cakewalk. Instead, fierce resistance from Realtors has prompted congressional hearings and regulatory delays.

Just after the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 passed, bankers asked their regulators for permission to broker real estate deals. It took the Federal Reserve Board nearly a year to formally propose the idea, and recently the agency pushed back its comment deadline to May 1.

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