A rule change approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission eliminates an exception that has let some broker-dealers use their own employees to test anti-money-laundering compliance.

The rule change originated with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which felt the exception violated the Bank Secrecy Act. It had effectively allowed smaller broker-dealers to use certain employees to do the testing, provided the results could be reported to an officer senior to the firm's anti-money-laundering officer.

Without the exception, some smaller firms would need to hire additional staff or an outside tester. Many small broker-dealers said the change would increase their costs.

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