Circular
Revisions to Operating Circular 3
June 23, 2015
Circular No. 12339

Effective July 23, 2015, the Federal Reserve Banks are amending Operating Circular 3, Collection of Cash Items and Returned Checks.  The amendment is necessary to reflect that the Federal Reserve Banks will cease handling items drawn on routing numbers that have been retired by the American Bankers Association’s official registrar of routing numbers and to conform the operating circular to the Federal Reserve Policy on Payment System Risk (“PSR Policy”) and Regulation J. 
The effective date of this amendment will coincide with the effective date of changes to the posting times for commercial check transactions outlined in part II of the PSR Policy.  A summary of all upcoming changes to the posting times outlined in part II of the PSR Policy is available at https://www.frbservices.org/fedflash/check/check_041515_01.html offsite 

Key changes made by this amendment include the following:

  • Paragraphs 3 and 19 have been revised to reflect that the Federal Reserve Banks will cease handling items drawn on routing numbers that have been retired by the official registrar of routing numbers.
  • Related changes to paragraph 3 clarify that the Federal Reserve Banks have no liability if they charge back and reject or return an item identified in paragraph 3 (i.e., an item the Federal Reserve Banks do not handle) or an item that they are unable to present.
  • Scattered parts of the operating circular have been revised to refer to provisions in the PSR Policy or Regulation J that are in effect or will be in effect when the amendment to Operating Circular 3 becomes effective or to refer to the Federal Reserve Banks’ published availability schedules:
    • Paragraph 9, which addressed times schedules and availability of credit, has been removed and replaced with an abbreviated reference to the PSR Policy and published availability schedules.
    • Paragraphs 12 and 17 have been updated to refer to appropriate provisions of the PSR Policy and Regulation J as they pertain to settlement obligations of paying banks  and depositary banks.
    • Paragraph 14 has been updated to clarify that the Federal Reserve Banks will settle adjustments or corrections at the times and in the manner set forth in the PSR Policy.
    • Slight revisions have been made to appendixes A, B, and C to clarify that the Federal Reserve Banks give credit for government items, postal money orders, and savings bonds handled for processing at the times and in the manner set forth in the PSR Policy and published availability schedules.

This amendment also incorporates a number of other, less significant changes.  The definitive text of revised Operating Circular 3 is posted at the link below. 

Your continued use of Federal Reserve Banks check services on or after July 23, 2015, constitutes agreement to the new terms of the operating circular.

See the link below on the Federal Reserve Banks Services website for the official version of the amended operating circular.   To request a paper copy of any operating circular, contact your Customer Contact Center.

Operating Circulars offsite