Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (05/24/2005)

Business Checking Freedom Act of 2005 - (Sec. 2) Authorizes interest-bearing transaction accounts for all businesses, permitting up to 24 transfers per month (or any greater number the Federal Reserve Board may determine) to another account of the owner in the same institution.

Conditions payment of interest on the Business Now Accounts of corporations, business partnerships, or other business entities upon a determination by the appropriate State bank supervisor that an industrial loan company or industrial bank is not a nonqualified industrial loan company, that is, a company controlled directly or indirectly by a commercial firm. Defines commercial firm as any entity at least 15 percent of the annual gross revenues of which on a consolidated basis, including all its affiliates, were derived from engaging, on an on-going basis, in activities that are not financial in nature or incidental to a financial activity during at least three of the prior four calendar quarters.

Excludes from the meaning of nonqualified industrial loan company (thus grandfathering) any commercial firm-controlled industrial loan company, industrial bank, or other specified institution which became an insured depository institution before October 1, 2003, or pursuant to an application for deposit insurance approved by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation before such date.

(Sec. 3) Amends the Federal Reserve Act, the Home Owners' Loan Act, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Act to repeal the prohibition against the payment of interest on demand deposits. Makes such repeal effective two years from the date of enactment.

(Sec. 4) Authorizes the payment of interest on reserves by a Federal reserve bank at least quarterly on balances maintained there on behalf of a depository institution.

Amends the Federal Reserve Act to require the Board to survey annually and report to Congress on bank fees and services including: (1) checking and other transaction accounts; (2) negotiable order of withdrawal and savings accounts; (3) automated teller machine transactions; and (4) other electronic transactions. Sets forth minimum survey requirements for each such account or transaction. Requires the survey to address minimum balance requirements as well as fees.

Requires the Board to report annually to Congress on the survey results.

Amends the Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act of 1994, and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 to repeal certain reporting requirements.

(Sec. 5) Amends the Federal Reserve Act to revise the ratio of reserves a depository institution must maintain against its transaction accounts, permitting a ratio of zero.

(Sec. 6) Directs the Federal reserve banks to deposit additional surplus funds into the general fund of the Treasury for FY2005-2009 equal to the estimated annual net revenue loss associated with allowing interest payments on required reserve balances.

Prohibits such banks, during FY2005-2009, from replenishing their respective surplus funds by the amount of any such transfer made to cover interest payments.