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WASHINGTON-America’s Community Bankers (ACB) wrote a letter, asking the administration to include provisions to allow interest payments on business checking accounts as part of an economic stimulus package. The economy, already weakening, has taken a nosedive since the September 11 attacks. “Lifting the ban against banks offering interest-bearing business checking accounts is a revenue-neutral way of stimulating the economy and helping small businesses (ACB emphasis),” the letter, also signed by the Association for Financial Professionals and Independent Insurance Agents of America, read. The letter also noted that the federal banking regulators agree that the ban no longer serves a purpose. The lobby groups went further to say that it is merely “a statutory obstacle for banks to serve their small business customers.” Legislation authorizing the payment of interest on business checking accounts passed both houses of Congress this session, including the most recent H.R. 974. Copies were also sent to Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, and Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott.

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