WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve Board on Monday said that 117 companies have qualified as financial holding companies under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.The approvals represent the first batch of companies that may take advantage of the expanded powers granted under Gramm-Leach-Bliley, which took effect March 11. The first approvals went to bank holding companies and foreign banking organizations rather than securities or insurance companies, which were not previously regulated by the Fed.

The largest banking organizations on the list include: Bank of America Corp., Chase Manhattan Corp., Citigroup Inc., First Union Corp., FleetBoston Financial Corp., Huntington Bancshares, J.P. Morgan & Co., KeyCorp, Mellon Financial Corp., SunTrust Banks Inc., U.S. Bancorp, Wachovia Corp., and Wells Fargo & Co. But a majority of the companies on the list are smaller ones such as Community Bankshares of Cornelia, Ga., and Yardville National Bancorp of Hamilton, N.J.

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