WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve Board on Monday issued a proposal that would broaden the powers of financial holding companies by permitting them to act as intermediaries between buyers and sellers of goods and services.

The Fed proposal comes in response to industry requests to let diversified holding companies created under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 serve as "finders," or third parties that bring together buyers and sellers of financial or nonfinancial products for transactions the buyers and sellers negotiate themselves.

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