The Federal Reserve will again suspend the holiday currency ordering periods in 2021 to proactively reduce operational strain on the cash supply chain during the winter holiday season as ongoing risks associated with the pandemic continue to create unprecedented challenges.
Reserve Banks are focusing on meeting daily demand for currency and coin during the COVID-19 pandemic
Reserve Banks have paid out high amounts of new currency over the past 18 months, substantially increasing the number of new notes received by financial institutions, and this suspension will enable Reserve Banks to continue focusing on their core mission of meeting daily demand for currency and coin. While the Federal Reserve and cash supply chain continue to address operational challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Reserve Banks have sufficient currency reserves to meet the needs of financial institutions.
The significant increase in new notes paid out into the market contributed to the decision to suspend the holiday currency order.
Background on holiday currency ordering
To operate efficiently and minimize printing costs for new currency, Federal Reserve Banks generally fill orders for currency with fit notes first and then with newly printed notes. Prior to the pandemic, the Federal Reserve has offered two separate weeklong periods in advance of the winter holiday season when financial institutions can place special orders for new currency, in addition to their regular currency orders, which are filled with fit notes. The Reserve Banks have historically offered these special ordering periods because financial institutions typically receive a relatively small amount of new currency in their orders throughout the year.
We will reassess the holiday currency ordering periods again in 2022 and communicate any changes.
For questions related to this change, please contact your local Cash Services Department. If you know of others in your organization who should be notified of these types of operational changes, please share this article.
Check out the Ops Stop article from earlier this month for information about the remaining 2021 bank holidays.