Fed System Will Ensure Broad Access and Stop Megabank Monopoly
Washington, D.C. (Aug. 5, 2019)—The Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) today applauded the Federal Reserve for its decision to develop a real-time payments system—a longtime ICBA priority. The Fed system will ensure universal access to real-time payments, avoid a megabank monopoly, and encourage innovation that will benefit consumers nationwide.
“ICBA and the nation’s community banks strongly support the Fed’s decision to develop a real-time settlement system,” ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said. “As we have said all along, the Fed is uniquely positioned to provide equitable access to real-time payments. Today’s decision by the Fed will benefit consumers nationwide and serve as a launchpad to future payments innovations. Now, the hard work begins as the Federal Reserve must move quickly to establish the service.”
A Fed-operated real-time settlement system will ensure industry-wide access and is consistent with the roles it already serves in providing payments services to nearly 11,000 financial institutions of different sizes and charter types. Fed involvement also will avoid the risk of having only one, for-profit settlement service run by the nation’s largest and riskiest financial institutions. Further, expanding access beyond this private-sector monopoly will encourage innovation and avoid a fragmented marketplace.
ICBA and the nation’s community banks have long supported the Fed’s role in real-time payments, as illustrated in messages to policymakers, op-eds, ads and hundreds of ICBA and community banker comment letters to the Fed. ICBA acknowledges the role that the Fed and the Federal Reserve Banks have served in ensuring Main Street access and choice on real-time payments. We thank them for their support of community banks and Main Streets nationwide.
ICBA looks forward to continuing to work with the Fed as it develops and implements its system to maximize access for community banks and the local customers and communities they serve.