The Federal Reserve Board on Wednesday gave Fleet Financial Group permission to acquire the Boston-based discount broker Quick & Reilly Group Inc.

"The proposed transaction would increase Fleet's ability to serve the needs of its customers and would allow the combined organization to provide both existing and new customers with a broader range of products and services," the Fed said.

In addition, the deal would not have any serious effects on competition, the Fed said.

As part of the $1.6 billion acquisition, which was announced in September, Fleet also would get JJC Specialist Corp., a New York Stock Exchange market maker; U.S. Clearing Corp., a securities clearing operation; and Nash, Weiss & Co., a Nasdaq market maker.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the month, a Fleet spokesman said.

Also Wednesday, the Fed approved a bid by the Bank of Scotland, Edinburgh, to establish an office in Seattle. The $77.1 billion-asset bank has offices in New York, Houston, Chicago, Jacksonville, Fla., and Los Angeles.

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