Financial Update (January-March 1998)

Fed to Implement
Uniform Cash Access Policy

T he procedures to access cash from the Federal Reserve are about to become more consistent for depository institutions, particularly those with operations in multiple Fed districts.

Through interstate branching, many institutions now have operations in several Fed districts, but currently each Fed branch has its own specific policies regarding how institutions access cash. To provide consistent cash access for depository institutions, all Fed districts will implement a uniform cash access policy (UCAP) on May 4, 1998.

In developing UCAP, the Federal Reserve set out to achieve several goals — to establish consistent cash services between Fed districts, institute a common base level for free access to cash for depository institutions and provide institutions with cash access above the base level for an established fee.

Free Cash Access Features

Under UCAP, the Fed will use a consistent cash access policy regarding free cash service eligibility and usage for depository institutions. The new policy establishes that each depository institution with a banking presence in a Federal Reserve branch territory can designate up to 10 endpoints — branches or operations centers — to receive one free cash access from a local Fed branch once per week. A cash access consists of a currency deposit and order. An endpoint may make additional free orders or deposits during a week if each additional order or deposit consists of at least 20 bundles of currency.

Free service beyond the 10 endpoints is available to large endpoints where volumes exceed the Fed's high-volume threshold of at least 50 bundles of currency. Institutions must include the known endpoints exceeding this threshold in the original 10 designated endpoints to receive free access.

Fee-Based Cash Access

In addition to the new, more consistent free cash access requirements, the Fed has also established greater consistency for fee-based cash access procedures. Under the new UCAP procedures Fed Banks may offer additional cash access for depository institutions where demand exists, subject to the physical constraints of each Fed branch. Fed Banks may offer additional cash access for a fee.

Each Fed Bank establishes its own fee for additional cash access. This fee recovers the cost of the cash access to the Fed only and will not include the costs of the Fed's cash services, such as vault storage, currency processing and the destruction of currency.

The cash access fees for the Federal Reserve Districts are $20 in the Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, St. Louis and Kansas City Districts; $25 in the Chicago, Minneapolis and Dallas Districts; $30 in the New York District; and $50 in the San Francisco District.

For additional information, please contact the local Sixth District cash office.

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