WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve Board is expected to approve a final rule on Wednesday governing the merchant banking activities of financial holding companies.

The rule, which implements part of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, stirred controversy when it was introduced in interim form last March. Bankers and others objected to a cap that limited their merchant banking activities to the lesser of $6 billion or 30% of the financial holding company’s Tier 1 capital. They also complained about a 10-year time limit on how long institutions may hold such investments.

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