WASHINGTON - Financial services lobbyists who attacked proposed merchant banking regulations with rhetorical sledgehammers last year will ascend Capitol Hill with screwdrivers on Wednesday to tinker further with the rules.

Robert J. Kabel, a lawyer with Manatt, Phelps, & Phillips here who is scheduled to testify on behalf of the Bank Private Equity Coalition - a lobbying group supported by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., FleetBoston Financial Corp., Deutsche Bank, and Norwest Venture Capital - said these large banking companies still contend the regulations contradict the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act's intent to ease restrictions on their investment powers.

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