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Uniform Cash Access Policy Frequently Asked Questions

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UCAP Questions

  1. Suppose your institution orders 20 or more bundles to one of its ten designated endpoints during a particular week. It then orders less than 20 bundles during the same week. A) Is only one order free or are both free? If only one order is free, which of the two orders is free? B) Suppose the first order was 16 bundles and the second order was 20 or more bundles during the same week. Are both orders free accesses?

    The UCAP does not state that the first access (deposit or order) is free, and that subsequent accesses should meet the volume threshold to qualify for free access. In the two examples above (A & B), both orders will be free. For each ten designated endpoints, the UCAP allows one free deposit and one free order weekly without any volume restrictions. Any additional accesses must meet the twenty bundle threshold to qualify as a free access.

  2. In the interstate banking environment, will billing statements come from the primary District?

    In delivering billing statements, there will be no change under the new interstate account structure. All billing charges will settle in one account held at one Reserve Bank. Billing charges for routing numbers used to process currency transactions will be broken out by subaccount. So that it can continue to get multiple billing deliveries, an institution can direct its statement to the local Reserve Bank of its subaccounts.

  3. How will your endpoints be defined?

    Legitimate endpoints consist of the head office, branch offices, and any cash operation center(s) or vault(s).

  4. Can I receive the free FR office cash access to ten endpoints under the new policy, even though I may currently have less than ten endpoints?

    No. The UCAP states that each institution can receive free cash access for up to ten endpoints. For example, if your institution has only three endpoints in a Federal Reserve Office territory, only three endpoints can receive free access. Institutions with more than ten legitimate endpoints can receive free access to ten endpoints. A Bank Holding Company, with multiple separately-chartered institutions, cannot transfer any unused free access from one institution to another institution. Similarly, institutions requiring access to less than ten endpoints cannot sell or transfer their unused free access to another institution.

  5. Can my institution receive free cash access for additional endpoints beyond the designated ten?

    Yes, under certain conditions. Under its role as a "wholesale" supplier of currency, the Federal Reserve Office will provide free cash access to endpoints beyond ten, provided these additional endpoints meet the local Federal Reserve Office’s large volume (high bundle) threshold and satisfy the local denomination bundle standard.

  6. Can I designate ten small-volume endpoints to receive free cash access and then expect free access service to endpoints beyond the designated ten because these additional endpoints meet the large volume (high bundle) threshold?

    No. The UCAP requires that institutions include all large volume locations in their designated ten free access endpoints. The intent of the UCAP is that if an institution receives free access to more than ten endpoints, all designated endpoints must satisfy the large volume test.

  7. Once I designate the ten endpoints for free cash access, can I make changes to them?

    An institution may require changes to the designated ten endpoints due to various, valid business reasons, such as seasonality, special events, or new or closed branches. At least one month advance notice is expected from you when you request a change in the designated ten endpoints.

  8. Are there any exceptions to the one deposit and one order per week rule for free access?

    Yes. Any of the ten designated endpoints may receive more frequent access than once per week (order or deposit) if volumes equal or exceed a 20 bundle aggregate threshold and satisfy the local Federal Reserve Office’s denomination bundle standard.

  9. If a designated free endpoint does not use one of its free accesses (deposit or order) in any given week, may that endpoint accumulate accesses for use later?

    No. You cannot transfer missed access opportunities from one week to another week.

  10. If a respondent bank uses a correspondent bank for its Reserve Account entries, which institution is receiving the cash access service from the Federal Reserve Office?

    The flow of accounting charges/credits is not relevant to the UCAP. The Cash Department records will reflect the respondent bank as the transaction originator, which is the receiver of the access.

  11. Are registered mail shipments, deposits or orders, considered cash service accesses?

    Yes. Deposits and orders sent by registered mail are considered cash accesses. Even if the basic access is free, any registered mail surcharge levied by the local Federal Reserve Office will apply. In determining access charges, large registered mail orders and/or deposits that are split into two or more orders or deposits for insurance reasons will be considered one order or one deposit.

  12. What day is considered the access day?

    The access (order or deposit) day is the day the currency shipment leaves from or is received onto the Federal Reserve Office dock.

  13. The UCAP states that there would be a one year adjustment period to accommodate bank mergers and acquisitions. When does this one year period begin?

    For one year after the official date of the merger or acquisition (when the merged institutions are officially operating as one), the merged institutions can receive the same level of free access as they received at the time of the merger. After one year, Federal Reserve Offices will treat the legally merged institutions as one entity under the UCAP. In some cases, the merged institution, at some point, may reduce its access to Federal Reserve Office cash services earlier than one year.

  14. Will there be any change to the current cross-shipping rules under the UCAP?

    No. The UCAP and the cross-shipping rule are mutually exclusive. Federal Reserve Offices will continue to enforce the cross-shipment policy, unless waived explicitly to accommodate events such as the introduction of new currency.

  15. Does the UCAP affect the coin and food coupon services offered by the department?

    No. The announced policy pertains only to currency deposit and order services provided by Federal Reserve Offices. Deposits of contaminated currency are not subject to access charges.

  16. Will I be able to offset any cash access related charges with earnings credits that have accrued under my clearing balance?

    No. Much like Account Information Services and certain computer terminal fees, cash access fees cannot be offset by earnings credits.

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