Fedwire® Securities Service Business Continuity Guide
Difficulty Accessing or Using the Fedwire Securities Service
The Fedwire Securities Service (the Service), developed, managed, and operated by the Federal Reserve Banks, is a real-time securities settlement system that allows for the immediate transfer of securities free or against payment on a gross basis. The Service is also an electronic central securities depository for securities issued over the Service. All securities on the Service are held and transferred in book-entry form. Although participants may send securities free of payment, most securities transfers involve the delivery of securities and the simultaneous exchange of payment for the securities, a process known as delivery-versus-payment (DVP). Each DVP transfer message results in a securities debit to the sender’s securities account and a securities credit to the receiver’s securities account; simultaneously, funds are debited from the receiver’s master account and credited to the sender’s master account. Transfers of securities and any related funds processed over the Service are final and irrevocable once the appropriate debits and credits are made.
The Federal Reserve Banks have a number of procedures in place to ensure the resilience of the Service and the Fedwire Funds Service (the Fedwire Services), including out-of-region backup facilities for the Fedwire applications and all integral support and related functions. The Federal Reserve Banks routinely test Fedwire business continuity procedures across a variety of contingency situations, including unavailability of facilities, hardware, network, or staff, to ensure timely resumption of Fedwire operations in the event of a local, regional, or widespread disruption. Furthermore, the Fedwire applications and associated recovery procedures are regularly enhanced and tested to address emerging risk scenarios, such as those that might occur during a pandemic.
How You Should Prepare
- Bookmark the Service Status page and refer to it regularly for current operational status and instructions from the Federal Reserve Banks.
- Practice your business continuity plans and reconciliation procedures in the Depository Institution Testing (DIT) environment.
- Review the Fedwire Offline Services as a Limited Contingency Tool page to ensure readiness should you need to leverage the Fedwire offline service as a contingency option of last resort.
- Ensure that the offline code word list assigned to your institution by the Federal Reserve Banks has been acknowledged with Fedwire Customer Support and is readily available to authorized individuals should your institution need to process Fedwire Funds Service transactions through the Fedwire offline service.
- Maintain a current list of authorized individuals (PDF) with primary and contingency telephone numbers on file with Fedwire Customer Support.
- Review the Federal Reserve Discount Window National Business Continuity page (Off-site) to learn more about contingency funding resources available through the Discount Window.
- Ensure your End User Authorization Contacts (EUACs) have the ability to use the FedLine® Home My Messages secure inbox to receive emails from the Federal Reserve Banks.
- Coordinate with an EUAC from your institution to access the FedLine Advantage® Contingency Guide for Wholesale Services, which is available in the EUAC Center.
- Review the FedMail® Contingency Guide for Fedwire Services (PDF) for contingency planning information related to use of the FedMail service to receive Fedwire Securities Service-related information.
- Review the Business Resilience Statement for Fedwire Services (PDF) for detailed information regarding data centers, technical support personnel, contingency testing, and customer responsibilities.
What You Should Do During the Disruption
If your institution is experiencing any issues with the Fedwire Securities Service, including difficulty accessing the Service or sending or receiving messages:
- Review your internal systems for anything that may be causing these issues, and if applicable, contact any organization that provides software that facilitates your use of the Service and/or that your institution uses to connect to the Service.
- If your institution requires an extension to the normal Fedwire Funds Service operating hours and you meet the criteria set froth in the Fedwire Funds Service Extension Guidelines, please contact the extension request line at P: (866) 895-5985. The Federal Reserve Banks will communicate any extensions via the Service Status page.
- Refer to the Service Status page for current operational status updates and other instructions. Status updates posted to the Service Status page may contain advice regarding actions to take during a service disruption.
- The Federal Reserve Banks may also distribute service status updates and advice on actions to take during a service disruption via posts on FedLine Home and emails sent to EUACs.
- Any issues or questions that are not addressed by these updates should be directed to the Customer Contact Center or your Fedwire Customer Support.
- Notify all pertinent personnel at your institution about the issues you are experiencing and any service disruption, according to your specific crisis communication escalation procedures.
- Monitor your account balances to prevent overdrafts and be prepared to use contingency funding resources such as the Federal Reserve Discount Window, if necessary.
- If you subscribe to Account Management Information Services (AMI), you can view your account balance using the FedLine Web® Plus solution. If you are unable to access AMI, please contact your Fedwire Customer Support for assistance.
- For questions related to reserve administration, overdraft, or borrowing, select your district on Discount Window/Payments System Risk (Off-site) or use the Reserve Central District Contacts page on FRBservices.org.
- You may want to consider using alternative arrangements to send messages that you have not previously sent to the Fedwire Securities Service. It is critical that you reconcile messages you believe you had sent or received up to the point of the disruption before you use alternative arrangements to send new messages. You are advised not to use alternative arrangements to resend messages that you have previously sent to the Fedwire Securities Service if you are unsure whether they have been or will be processed by the Service. If you do so, you risk sending duplicate messages.
- FedLine Direct customers with online access through the FedLine Advantage solution may be able to use that access solution to originate new messages. FedLine Advantage customers with a contingency third-party service provider arrangement may be able to use that arrangement to originate new messages.
- Depending on the nature of the disruption, the Fedwire offline service may be available if you have a limited number of critical transactions that must be processed before the disruption is resolved; however, the Fedwire offline service 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.
- During a disruption, call volumes may exceed operational capacity resulting in busy signals and/or long wait times, so please prioritize your payments before using the Fedwire offline service.
- It is critical that your institution be familiar with the offline security procedures, including having authorized individuals available to originate and verify transactions.
- If your institution requires an extension to the normal Fedwire Securities Service operating hours and you meet the criteria set forth in the Fedwire Services Extension Guidelines, please contact the extension request line as noted in the guidelines. The Federal Reserve Banks will communicate any extensions via the Service Status page.
- General questions regarding a service disruption may be directed to the Customer Contact Center. For specific questions about the Fedwire Securities Service, please contact your Fedwire Customer Support.
Your institution is able to send messages, but is not receiving incoming advices and/or acknowledgments:
- Review your internal systems for anything that may be causing these issues, and if applicable, contact any organization that provides software that facilitates your use of the Fedwire Securities Service and/or that your institution uses to connect to the Service.
- You may continue to submit new messages even if you are not receiving acknowledgments. Customers are advised to refer to the Service Status page for current operational status updates and other instructions.
- Customers are advised not to resend messages, as this may result in duplicate transactions. However, FedLine Direct customers with a need to resend messages are advised to do so using the Possible Duplicate Message (PDM) indicator and the same endpoint and unique message identifier assigned by the sender (i.e., IMAD) in the original message.
- If you have critical transactions to process but are unable to do so without receipt of undelivered advices, please contact Fedwire Customer Support for assistance.
What You Should Do After the Disruption is Resolved
If you are still experiencing issues with accessing or using the Fedwire Securities Service after the Federal Reserve Banks have announced the resolution of a service disruption, you should review your internal systems for anything that may be causing these issues, and if applicable, contact any service provider that provides software that facilitates your use of the Fedwire Securities Service and/or that you use to connect to the Service regarding these issues.
Procedures are in place to ensure the resilience of the operation of the Service, which includes recovery to the point of the disruption. Following the resolution of a disruption, it is critical that you reconcile the messages you believe you had sent or received up to the point of the disruption before submitting additional messages to the Service. If you need assistance with the reconciliation process, please contact your Fedwire Customer Support.
To assist in the reconciliation process, you should gather any internal documentation that will aid in determining if all transactions you believe you had sent and received before the disruption were processed by the Fedwire Securities Service. In addition, the following reports may be used to support the reconciliation process:
FedLine Direct customers
- Endpoint Grand Totals1, 2: You can request this report, which provides a summary of the activity for a given endpoint. This report lists the total volume and value of messages sent and received for a given endpoint. It also lists the total number of nonvalue service messages sent and received as well as the next expected sequence numbers for messages to be sent and received. The report also includes the number of outgoing sequence numbers that were rejected, intercepted, and not received by the Fedwire Securities Service.
- Gap Report1, 2: You can contact your Fedwire Customer Support to request this report, which provides a list of sequence numbers the Fedwire Securities Service did not receive for a given endpoint (i.e., gaps). There are two gap reports for a given endpoint: one for messages sent and one for messages received. As a result, you would need to request separate gap reports for messages sent and messages received for the given endpoint.
- Detailed Summary: You can request this report, which provides basic information (i.e., sequence number, sender, receiver, type/subtype code, reference number, dollar amount, par amount, and processing status) for a range of messages sent or received (up to 25 messages at one time) for a given endpoint.
FedLine Direct customers with a need to resend messages are advised to do so using the Possible Duplicate Message (PDM) indicator and the same endpoint and unique message identifier assigned by the sender (i.e., IMAD) in the original message.
FedLine Advantage customers
The following features available in the FedPayments Manager – Securities application may assist FedLine Advantage customers in completing their reconciliation processes:
- Activity Summary: This feature provides the following information: summary information of the messages you sent and received via the FedPayments Manager – Securities application for the current business day, including total volume and value sent and received; the number of messages pending or rejected; and a summary of messages that have not yet been processed by the Fedwire Securities Service.
Other Contingency Events Impacting Your Business Operations
Many financial institutions have survived severe regional weather or other contingency events with minimal to no direct impact on their day-to-day operations thanks to careful business continuity planning. As stated in the Federal Reserve Banks’ operating circulars, financial institutions and their service providers are responsible for developing, testing, and executing their own contingency and recovery plans to ensure the resilience of their operations in a crisis situation. Whether your plan is as complex as establishing a geographically diverse data center, or as simple as having an evacuation packet with essential items your staff may need to reconstitute operations at an alternate site, planning and preparedness will help reduce the operational impact from unexpected weather or processing challenges.
How You Should Prepare
Detailed information about business continuity planning is available on this page. Additionally, a Fedwire Services Contingency Event Preparedness Checklist (PDF) can be used as you prepare your business continuity plans to help mitigate the potential impact of a contingency event (e.g., pandemic, severe weather, or other disruption to your Fedwire transaction-processing capabilities) that requires staff to work remotely for an extended period of time. Your institution should also periodically test your ability to access your online connection to the Fedwire Securities Service from a remote location.
What You Should Do During the Contingency Event
- Take Your Evacuation Package: If relocation is necessary, this packet should contain valuable materials to help you quickly re-establish Fedwire operations from an alternate site. This may include:
- Access credentials
- Internal operation procedures
- Implement Your Contingency Procedures: Determine which contingency arrangement applies to the specific event and implement it. For example:
- Transition to your out-of-region data center and/or your contingency connection (e.g., FedLine Advantage Solution).
- Activate your pre-established “buddy bank” arrangements (i.e., third-party service provider arrangements).
- Identify critical transactions; authorized individuals may be able to use the Fedwire offline service to manually process a small number of critical transactions in the event their alternate access channels are inaccessible.
- Contact Your Fedwire Customer Support: Alert your that you are in a contingency situation. The team can help you work through your Fedwire processing options.
- Review Fedwire Extension Guidelines: Ensure authorized individuals are aware of the Fedwire operating hours and extension guidelines.
1If you process traffic from multiple endpoints, you will need to request a separate report for each endpoint.
2In the event of a contingency situation in which the Federal Reserve Banks failover to an alternate site, the Federal Reserve Banks will automatically send an “Interim” Endpoint Grand Totals and a Gap Report to each FedLine Direct endpoint that had activity on the day of the contingency event. The Gap Report will be sent to each endpoint even if there were no gaps in sequence numbers for that endpoint.