If the Federal Reserve Board is ultimately cleared of wrongdoing in its involvement with Bank of America Corp.'s purchase of Merrill Lynch, the central bank should still not be given systemic oversight authority, lawmakers told President Obama on Friday.

"Even if an investigation does not yield conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the allegations should give the administration, Congress and, most importantly, the American people, pause before concentrating extensive new power in the hands of one regulatory entity with little to no direct accountability to the public," 17 lawmakers wrote in a letter dated Friday to the president.

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