Fed Moves Miami Branchs Check Processing to Jacksonville
On March 12, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta discontinued processing check payments at its Miami Branch, which previously processed checks for financial institutions in the 13 counties of south Florida. The Atlanta Feds Jacksonville Branch now provides check processing services to the Florida financial institutions previously served by the Miami Branch.
Quality service continues
The Jacksonville Branch has continued to offer the same high level of service that customers experienced from the Miami Branch, according to Don Nelson, senior vice president in the Retail Payments Office of the Atlanta Fed. And, though check processing was consolidated to a single state site, sales contacts for checks and other services for the south Florida area remain at the Miami branch, preserving the working relationships between customers and the Miami Fed representatives who are knowledgeable about their business needs.
As a result of the service location change, a number of Miami customers received improved collection availability on checks payable outside Florida. This benefit is important because more than 30 percent of Miamis checks are payable outside the state.
The Miami Branch continues to process cash for the 13 counties of south Florida. In addition, the Miami Branch maintains a bank supervisory staff that monitor state member banks, bank and financial holding companies, and foreign banking organizations that operate in Florida.
Check volume declines
Even though checks remain the most popular form of noncash retail payment, they make up only 60 percent of all noncash retail payments today compared to 85 percent in 1979. Recent Federal Reserve projections suggest that roughly 40 billion checks were written in the United States in 2002, down from about 50 billion in 1995. The Reserve Banks handle about 16 billion of these checks annually, and this volume is expected to decline as well.
In February 2003 the Federal Reserve Banks, collectively the nations largest processor of checks, announced plans to improve check-processing efficiency. These plans include reducing the number of Federal Reserve check-processing facilities from 45 to 32 nationwide, beginning in 2003 through the end of 2004, while continuing to provide nationwide check-processing services. The Atlanta Feds decision to move Miamis check processing services to the Jacksonville Branch was part of these changes.