WASHINGTON -- The Federal Reserve Board Tuesday gave an Italian bank permission to open a representative office in Los Angeles. The board said in its order that Cariplo-Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde S.p.A. of Milan had met the requirements established in the International Bank Act and Regulation K for U.S. expansion by foreign banks.

Those rules require, among other things, that institutions have their home central bank's approval. that they receive regular examinations. and that they agree to open their books to Fed inspection.

The $78 billion-asset bank, with approximately 600 Italian branches, will use the Los Angeles office for loan production activities, research work, and product promotion, the Fed order states.

In its order, the Fed noted that the bank is wholly owned by a nonprofit foundation that is controlled by the Italian government. The foundation promotes scientific research, education, art, and health.

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