WASHINGTON - Banks and their trade groups generally support a Federal Reserve Board proposal that authorizes financial holding companies to act as "finders" in bringing buyers and sellers together.

In a comment letter on the plan, the Financial Services Roundtable said it shows the importance of authorizing "a larger and evolving role in e-commerce" for the financial services industry.

The proposed rule would let the companies host an Internet marketplace with links to the Web sites of third-party buyers and sellers and operate a Web site that allows third-party buyers and sellers to post information and enter into transactions.

However, Mark Lovvorn, president and chief executive of BankDallas and Dallas Bancshares, told the Fed that the proposed rule is not consistent with the intent of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, because acting as a "finder" is not a financial activity or incidental to a financial activity. Gramm-Leach-Bliley created the financial holding company - essentially a bank holding company with expanded powers.

Changes some banks would like to see to the proposed rule include allowing bank holding companies also to act as finders and eliminating prohibitions on financial holding companies' participating in negotiations between buyers and sellers or binding buyers or sellers to a deal.

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