WASHINGTON — Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., has reintroduced legislation that would let banks pay interest on business checking accounts as early as 2003.

Under the bill, banks and thrifts would be able to offer the interest-bearing products two years after enactment. In the interim, the legislation would increase to 24 per month, from six, the number of times banks could “sweep” funds overnight from non-interest-bearing commercial checking accounts into interest-bearing accounts.

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