The House of Representatives approved the biggest changes in financial regulation since the Great Depression on Friday, marking a win for the Obama administration and congressional Democrats.

With the Senate due to debate similar reforms well into next year, the House passed a 1,279-page bill hammered out in the months since last year's global banking and capital market crisis convinced Democrats of an urgent need for reform.

The bill would create an inter-agency council to police systemic risk in the economy, crack down on hedge funds and credit rating agencies, set up a financial consumer watchdog agency, and expose Federal Reserve monetary policy to unprecedented congressional scrutiny, among other reforms.

(Reporting by Kevin Drawbaugh; Editing by Leslie Adler)