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Inside Washington (06/25/2008)
* WASHINGTON (6/26/08)--Two bills that the Senate and House are expected to pass this week would require financial institutions to fork over hundreds of millions of dollars to help the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) collect business income tax (American Banker June 25). Financial institutions also would need to report their business customers’ credit card income--which would help the government collect $9.8 billion of revenue over 10 years. The Senate bill was expected to be approved Tuesday evening. Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) said the legislation would require credit card system upgrades and could harm small businesses ... * WASHINGTON (6/26/08)--Legislation to help banks and credit unions keep relationships with money-services businesses (MSBs), and exonerate financial institutions holding these accounts from liability, passed through the House Financial Services Committee Tuesday (American Banker June 25). The measure would allow MSBs to certify themselves as having anti-money laundering controls, based on regulations developed by the Treasury Department. Starting several years ago, financial institutions dropped many account relationships with money-services businesses because of the oversight burden imposed by Bank Secrecy Act rules. Each state except Montana requires MSBs to register, but states’ varied requirements hinder consistency in reporting information ... * WASHINGTON (6/26/08)--The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will encourage investment funds to use criteria to such as risk and liquidity, instead of credit rankings, to prevent losses in securities. The agency will propose that references to credit ratings be changed to “liquidity, volatility or probability of loss” (American Banker June 25). Eliminating the credit references would require companies to undergo more due diligence to determine if assets are investment grade, said Erik Sirri, head of the SEC division of trading and markets. Sirri recently spoke at an American Enterprise Institute conference in Washington ...


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