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Friday, April 1, 2005

FedACH Lowers Rates to Mexico

The Federal Reserve has reduced the spread, or commission, for Automated Clearinghouse (FedACH) payments for any U.S. depository institution that wants to send electronic payments to Mexico. The Fed also has entered into an agreement with Mexico's Banco del Ahorro Nacional y Servicios Financieros (Bansefi) to enlarge the distribution channel for bank-to-bank account transfers from the United States to Mexico. The agreement is expected to make it easier for Mexicans living in the United States to send money home through formal channels. For more information, contact Larry Schulz of the Fed's International Retail Payments Office at (404) 498-8792.

Fed Eliminates Large-Dollar Item Surcharge on Image Cash Letter Deposits

The Federal Reserve has eliminated the large-dollar item surcharge on items $10 million and over deposited in forward and return image cash letters. This includes large-dollar items deposited in a mixed forward or return image cash letter or in an electronic endpoint group sort. Large-dollar items deposited in paper-to-image cash letters, Check 21 cull products and all traditional paper deposits remain subject to the $50 surcharge.

These changes became effective Feb. 1. For more information, contact your account executive.

Fed Publishes Survey Results on Bank Lending Practices

The Federal Reserve Board of Governors has published the January 2005 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices. The survey addressed changes on supply and demand for bank loans to businesses and households. A special question asked the reasons why nonbank investors recently have increased their participation in the commercial and industrial loan market. In addition, banks were asked about the changes they have made to terms on commercial real estate loans during the past year and why the share of industry assets accounted for by residential real estate loans has increased during the past three years.

The complete survey results can be found on the Board's web site,