WASHINGTON - Director James F. Sloan told a House panel Wednesday that the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network must raise its budget by more than two-thirds to start tracking money-laundering among nonbanks and develop more sophisticated data systems.

The Clinton administration's fiscal year 2001 budget plan requests $34.7 million for Fincen, a Treasury Department unit that collects and analyzes suspicious activity and other reports from financial institutions. It received $29.6 million this year.

Spending on regulation would increase 70%, to $6.4 million. Of that request, $2.28 million is to start registering check cashers, money transmitters, and other money services businesses. Fincen has adopted two rules since the summer that will require such companies to register and begin filing suspicious activity reports by late next year.

In testimony before a House appropriations subcommittee, Mr. Sloan said Fincen plans to hire 81 employees and contract with other regulatory agencies to register money services businesses and ensure compliance.

- Dean Anason

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