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Regional Roundup

Monday, January 1, 2007

Check Customer Service Call Centers Consolidate

The Federal Reserve consolidated the Check Services call center in October into a national customer service center located in the Fourth District (the Cleveland Fed). The toll-free number you are accustomed to dialing (1-866-433-3227) remains the same for now; your calls are being automatically routed to the new call center. Although the voices on the other end of the line are new, the customer service experience you count on remains the same.

Study Examines Joblessness Concentration

Between 1980 and 2000, America's urban neighborhoods became increasingly polarized into high- and low-unemployment areas. Fed research economist Christopher Wheeler presents his findings in The Rising Residential Concentration of Joblessness in Urban America: 1980 to 2000.

Wheeler studied neighborhood-level unemployment in more than 360 U.S. cities, including Little Rock, Louisville, Memphis and St. Louis. Access the report at

Bankers among Execs Named to New Fed Advisory Council

The St. Louis Fed has created a Community Development Advisory Council to provide a dependable line of communication between the Fed and the public regarding community development issues.

The council will meet twice annually and advise the Bank's president and Community Affairs officers and staff members on activities, issues and barriers to community development in the District. They will discuss ways the Bank can help with community development efforts, encourage effective use of District resources and more.

Council members are executives from 13 organizations representing nonprofits, financial institutions, universities, government and foundations from throughout the District.

Fed Will Cut Check 21 Fees in 2008

Fees for Check 21 deposits that go to electronic recipients will decrease by 3 percent in 2008, while paper-check deposit fees will increase by 12 percent. Both these measures are meant to encourage consumers to choose electronic check processing options.

The Fed's priced services will increase about 3 percent in 2008, which reflects an approximate 5 percent rise in check-service fees and an 8 percent decrease in fees for the Fed's electronic payment services. Read more at