WASHINGTON — The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has made it a little easier for institutions to hire employees who previously had committed insignificant crimes, the agency said Friday.

The FDIC told banks in a letter that a prospective employee who had paid less than $2,500 and spent no more than three days in jail for past offenses could be exempted from a general ban on hiring individuals with a criminal record. Before the FDIC's change, which was made in December, the allowed "de minimus" fine was $1,000 and any jail time disqualified applicants.

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