Watch for Fed Communications on Check Consolidations

By now, you're undoubtedly aware of the pending System-wide changes in the Federal Reserve's check operations. The long-term strategy for restructuring check and check adjustment operations will reduce the number of check processing sites from 22 nationwide locations to four regional sites: Philadelphia, Cleveland, Atlanta and Dallas.

In the Eighth District, the Memphis and St. Louis offices will no longer provide the full range of check processing services once all transitions are completed. Memphis' volume will move to the Atlanta Fed in the third quarter of 2008. St. Louis' volume will move to Atlanta in the first quarter of 2011.

But what does this mean for you, the Eighth District banker?

"We are still a full-service shop until the consolidation," says Bill Little, assistant vice president of Check Processing Management in St. Louis. "We're still continuing to offer the transparent and full level of customer service that bankers expect."

The Eighth District will also continue to process U.S. Postal Service money orders and U.S. Treasury checks, including Philadelphia's volume starting in mid-2008, making St. Louis the only Fed that processes Treasury checks.

The most important action bankers can take, Little explains, is to watch for communications from the Fed about what will happen and when. "Be on the lookout for customer communications concerning impending changes at local and other Bank offices, such as where to send checks, availability of processing, transportation and more," he says. "Communications usually arrive well in advance-approximately 120 days out."

For more information, read the Fed's announcement at www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/other/20070626a.htm.

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