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Stay up-to-date on COVID-19 preparedness and related actions supported by the Federal Reserve

April 1, 2020

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

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 a customer’s normal working environment via FedLine® Solutions must comply with published Hardware and Software Requirements. Customers 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. Additional guidance can also be found in the Federal Reserve Banks’ Operating Circulars.

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.

Currency

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.

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.

Forms guidance

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:

  • Check Adjustment Services forms
  • 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®, FedLine Command and Check 21 Large File Delivery
  • 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: ccc.coordinators@kc.frb.org

If you have questions, please call the Customer Contact Center (CCC) at: 888-333-7010.

Employee safety

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 stimulus payments

The Federal Reserve is working closely with the U.S. Department of the Treasury to support their preparations for distribution of economic stimulus payments.

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. If you have any questions about our preparedness, please reach out to your account executive or contact the Customer Contact Center.

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