Updated March 29, 2021
Federal Reserve Financial Services is committed to maintaining a high level of preparedness to meet the needs of financial institutions for a range of scenarios, including those relevant to the recent public health emergency caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19). We want to reassure you that our services are fully operational and we do not anticipate any business disruptions. Customers should continue to follow their normal procedures for contacting the Federal Reserve Banks.
Access to our services
Last updated 5/7/20
Federal Reserve Financial Services customers maintain critical responsibilities and obligations for business resiliency and business continuity for the services that they use. Customers should refer to their institution’s business continuity plans as early as possible to ensure user access.
All equipment, including personal computers, used to access those Federal Reserve Bank Services that can be accessed outside of an individual's normal working environment via FedLine® Solutions must comply with published Hardware and Software Requirements. Information for accessing FedLine Web® and FedLine Advantage® remotely is available. Credentialed EUACs and Subscribers can access further detailed instructions via FedLine Home Communications. Individuals with questions or concerns about accessing these services outside their normal working environment should contact the Customer Contact Center, which can advise on any potential modifications required in their setup to be able to connect to our services.
Reporting Central Subscribers are encouraged to verify their access to the Reporting Central application at least 10 business days prior to a report’s submission due date to allow sufficient time to address connection issues. This entails ensuring they have an active FedLine credential at the ready in order to check their connection.
Financial services processing
The Federal Reserve Banks have robust business continuity plans in place that focus on ensuring all financial services functions continue, our Federal Reserve employees are protected, and to provide for operational continuity in the event of reduced staffing scenarios. For example, our financial services functions are utilizing strategies like geographically dispersed split operations, remote work and staff rotations to achieve business continuity. Further, we are working closely with customers and vendors to monitor any volume changes in the processing of check, ACH, National Settlement Service, wire or securities transactions.
Please note that all published processing deadlines and funds availability schedules for ACH and check processing remain in effect. Our transaction processing platforms all have the ability to process substantially more volume than they typically receive on a daily basis. FedACH® Services customers are advised to consult Nacha Operating Rules (Off-site) and Nacha’s new resource center “ACH Resources During the Coronavirus Pandemic (Off-site)” for information about performance of obligations beyond required time limits and temporary relief Nacha is providing for some ACH Rules.
Fedwire® customers that use FedLine Solutions as their primary method to access the Fedwire Funds Service and Fedwire Securities Service should not rely on the Fedwire offline service as a contingency alternative for processing their transactions. While the offline service has proven to be an effective tool to support the most critical transactions for a limited number of customers using the FedLine Advantage® Solution when they experience a service disruption, it is not designed or intended to support a broad-based FedLine Advantage service disruption and is not a viable contingency alternative for customers that use the FedLine Direct® Solution. Therefore, your institution is encouraged to consider other alternatives for processing your critical transactions if you cannot access the Fedwire Services via your FedLine Solution.
Last updated 5/1/20
The Federal Reserve Banks’ normal operating procedures include having currency reserves on hand to meet the needs of financial institutions. We are monitoring currency orders/volumes to stay ahead of any additional demand. The Federal Reserve System also has a contingency stock of new currency that can be circulated to the public.
Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce Memo
The Department of Homeland Security identified the Financial Services sector as Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin has also issued a memo (PDF) that further states the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce “...includes workers who are needed to process and maintain systems for processing financial transactions and services, such as payment, clearing and settlement services, wholesale funding, insurance services, and capital markets activities; to provide consumer access to banking and lending services, including ATMs, movement of currency (e.g. armored cash carriers); support financial operations, such as those staffing data and security operations centers; and, key third party providers who deliver core services. These individuals are critical to maintaining safe and efficient financial services and ensuring citizens have access to these services that are necessary to conduct their daily lives.”
Additional information (Off-site) on continuation of work through curfews or road blocks due to the current coronavirus/COVID-19 situation is available from the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency.
Older-series $100 Notes
Beginning April 6, the Federal Reserve will start including fit older-design $100 notes (issued 1996-2013) in financial institution orders. Financial institutions ordering from the Federal Reserve may receive older-design $100 notes and current-design $100 notes (issued 2013-present) in the same strap. For more information, please refer to the communication distributed on April 3.
Mandatory Armored Carrier Wellness Checks at Federal Reserve Offices
On April 6, the Federal Reserve System began to implement mandatory wellness checks for all visitors, including armored carrier personnel entering our premises. Please refer to April 1 communication where the Federal Reserve announced this to all FedCash Services customers. Refer to the communications page for District-specific guidance for carrier wellness checks (please note, not all Districts have communicated to their local financial institutions and armored carriers with this guidance). We hope that by applying these measures to all visitors, we will reduce the possibility of transmission of the virus and further our ability to continue to provide Cash Services to financial institutions.
Update as of May 1: The CDC has recently updated their website (Off-site) with six new indicators of COVID-19, and the Reserve Banks are beginning to add these symptoms to their carrier wellness check process. Please refer to the communications page for District-specific guidance.
We Ask for Financial Institution Assistance
While all Reserve Bank offices are fully operational and are prepared to meet demand for currency orders, we ask financial institutions to place reasonable orders for currency, and not order more currency than is needed. This will help prevent unnecessary spikes in ordering that could strain our cash operations or the supply chain. Working together, we will ensure that everyone who needs cash can receive it.
Select forms and agreements are required to be completed, signed and sent via mail to the Federal Reserve Banks. As part of our commitment to maintaining a high level of preparedness during the recent public health emergency caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19), we will temporarily process the following forms submitted via email only (mailed forms received after March 16, 2020 will not be processed). Forms signed using e-signatures will not be accepted:
- End User Authorization Contact (EUAC) Designation and Authorization Form for FedLine Web-Based Services and Other Business Application
- End User Authorization Contact (EUAC) Designation and Authorization Form for FedLine Direct® and FedLine Command
- Federal Reserve Bank Reporting Central FedLine Access Authorization List
- Fedwire Funds Service Security Procedure Agreement - Appendix A-1
- Fedwire Services Third Party Service Arrangement - Appendix C
Please email the above signed forms to: email@example.com
If you have questions, please call the Customer Contact Center (CCC) at: 888-333-7010.
Like you, one of our concerns is for the safety and well-being of our employees, their families and our facilities. We have taken proactive steps to help ensure the ongoing health of our Federal Reserve employees, including educating them about prevention, providing them hygiene-related precautions and requiring sick staff to remain at home.
Economic impact payments
Last updated 3/29/21
The Federal Reserve is working closely with the U.S. Department of the Treasury to support the distribution of economic impact payments.
Please be advised that the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) will be processing Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. These EIPs will be referred to as EIP3.
For more information from the IRS, please review the Questions and Answers about the Third Economic Impact Payment (Off-site).
Effective March 12, 2021, financial institutions should be prepared to begin receiving these EIPs. This notice is being provided to allow the tax industry, refund transfer banks, and financial institutions to prepare to receive these payments and provide clarity on misdirected payments. If a payment is issued to a temporary bank account used for tax refund purposes, the IRS requests these payments be returned.
The IRS and Bureau of the Fiscal Service (Fiscal Service) plan to reissue returned EIP3 payments. If an EIP3 payment is returned and it meets the criteria for reissuance (for example, closed account, invalid account, etc.), the payment will be reissued as a paper check. The recipient should receive the check in less than 14 days.
Therefore, institutions redirecting payments associated with temporary accounts or tax refund products is problematic in the long term for the citizens. The following are some of the issues with redirected payments:
- Reason for Payment is Lost: The character of the redirected payment may not be known by the receiving institution and citizen. Without understanding the reason or character of the payment, the citizen may not realize they received their EIP3.
- Correct Account is Unknown to the IRS: If a taxpayer calls the IRS or uses the Get My Payment Tool, the correct account number of the EIP deposit is not known to the IRS or its systems. This creates a vulnerability that the taxpayer may believe they are a victim of identity theft or they did not receive their EIP.
- Risk of Further Misdirected Non-Tax Refund Payments: If the IRS is unaware of the correct account of the taxpayer, any subsequent non-tax refund payments including another EIP or planned monthly child tax credits included in the American Rescue Plan Act will also be at risk of being misdirected.
We request your support in returning any payments to temporary accounts associated with advanced tax refund products.
Last updated 3/11/21
For more information
The Federal Reserve Banks are closely monitoring updated guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) (Off-site) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) (Off-site) to stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Please reference FedLine Home, Service Status and the COVID-19 page on FRBservices.orgSM to stay up to date on guidance as it relates to financial services. For additional information related to actions the Fed is taking to support the economy, visit the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors (Off-site) website. For more information on the distribution of economic impact payments, visit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) (Off-site) website or the press release (Off-site) issued on April 10.