Federal Reserve Board invites public comment on proposed guidelines to evaluate requests for accounts and payment services

The Federal Reserve Board on Wednesday invited public comment on proposed guidelines to evaluate requests for accounts and payment services at Federal Reserve Banks (“Account Access Guidelines”).

Recent years have seen the introduction of new financial products and delivery mechanisms for traditional banking services, notably leveraging emerging technologies, including from institutions with novel types of banking charters designed to support such innovation. To facilitate these activities, some such institutions have requested access to the payments system offered by Federal Reserve Banks. To help achieve the goal of applying a transparent and consistent process for all access requests, as well as considering the ramifications for the broader financial system, the Board is proposing Account Access Guidelines for the Reserve Banks to evaluate such requests. These guidelines take into account the Board’s legal authority and reflect an analysis of its policy goals.

“With technology driving rapid change in the payments landscape, the proposed Account Access Guidelines would ensure requests for access to the Federal Reserve payments system from novel institutions are evaluated in a consistent and transparent manner that promotes a safe, efficient, inclusive, and innovative payment system, consumer protection, and the safety and soundness of the banking system,” said Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard.

Comments will be accepted for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

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