WASHINGTON — The House on a voice vote Tuesday passed legislation that would allow banks to pay interest on business checking accounts as soon as 2003.

The bill also temporarily would expand sweep accounts from six to 24 times a month in the interim, and authorize the Federal Reserve Board to pay interest on bank reserves.

The bills’ supporters said that allowing interest on business checking is expected to increase competition among financial institutions and broaden financial alternatives for small businesses.

“This legislation is about creating new and broader market options,” the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Sue W. Kelly, R.-N.Y., said.

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