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Regional Roundup

Wednesday, October 1, 1997

New ACH Deadline Eliminates Surcharge

Beginning Oct. 1, the Federal Reserve will extend its deadline for ACH items by five hours. The regular billing deposit deadline, previously known as the premium surcharge deadline, will be 1 a.m. rather than 8 p.m. Eastern time. This extension eliminates the premium surcharge fee of 0.5 cent for items deposited between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. Eastern time and may yield annual savings of $2.1 million to the Fed's ACH customers.

For more information, call Andy Lueckenhoff at (314) 444-8647.

National Consumers Week Coming in October

The U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs has proclaimed Oct. 25-31 as National Consumers Week (NCW). This year's theme, "A Fair Shake Marketplace," emphasizes the themes of honesty, courtesy and fairness in the marketplace.

The Federal Reserve has chosen to focus some of its NCW activities on the Consumer Leasing Act (Regulation M) since new regulations go into effect Oct. 1, 1997. The Consumer Leasing Act covers leases for cars, furniture, cell phones and other items consumers might lease. But most of the recent attention on leasing has focused on vehicles. The Act requires lessors to provide consumers with uniform cost and other disclosures about consumer lease transactions. To help consumers understand their rights and responsibilities under the new leasing regulations, the Federal Reserve Board will release a consumer education brochure Oct. 1. If your bank would like a supply, please fax your request Diana Judge at (314) 444-8753.

Partners Software Still Available

The Fed has distributed more than 35,000 copies of its Partners software to financial institutions, government agencies, community organizations and consumers. The software, created by the Atlanta Fed and introduced in early 1996, helps determine whether a potential home buyer qualifies for a mortgage loan using the buyer's financial situation and various underwriting criteria. For applicants who may not qualify for conventional home purchase loans, Partners offers suggestions to overcome these barriers.

To obtain copies, call Diana Judge at (314) 444-8761 or download the software from the Atlanta Fed's homepage (

Fed Measures Quality

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis has published its 1996 quality measures for its financial services in a publication called Targeting Perfection. The Fed tracked these measures to ensure it is meeting its customers expectations and operating requirements.

Later this year, the Fed will publish a quality measures report for the first three quarters of 1997. If you have any questions or would like extra copies, please call Cheryl McCarthy at (314) 444-8459.