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<p>WASHINGTON-The administration presented America with its small business agenda last week. Included among the many items to aid small businesses is a provision to permit financial institutions to pay interest on small business checking accounts. This is of interest to CUs because more are now offering business accounts. Unable to pay interest, financials have been offering businesses earnings credits to off set account fees. “Due to outdated, Depression-era laws, small businesses are not allowed to earn interest on their checking accounts,” a White House summary of the policy said. “For many small businesses, the interest income on their checking account balances would defray other significant costs.” A similar bill (H.R. 974) passed the House in April of last year but stalled in the Senate. The legislation also permitted the Federal Reserve to pay interest on so-called “sterile reserves” held at reserve banks.</p>

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