WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve Board approved a rule Thursday governing how bank holding companies can apply for status as financial holding companies, the special structure created by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act to exercise expanded financial and related powers.

The rule is substantially the same as an interim rule bank regulators have been operating under this year. It requires a company to certify that it and all of its subsidiaries are well-managed and well-capitalized, and that they meet their obligations under the Community Reinvestment Act.

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