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Circular No. 81-147
July 17, 1981


The Federal Reserve and the American Bankers Association have developed
a Contingency Plan to provide assistance to all financial institutions in the
event of disruptions in U.S. Postal Service operations upon expiration of
collective bargaining agreements at midnight, Monday, July 20, 1981. Federal
Reserve assistance will be provided to all depository institutions on a
space available basis. The Federal Reserve will serve as an information
clearinghouse for institutions desiring status reports on the availability
of services from the U.S. Postal Service and the availability of Federal
Reserve services. This information can be obtained also from your State
Bankers Association.
Consistent with the Monetary Control Act of 1980,
the Federal Reserve reserves the right to charge for these services.
If normal postal service is interrupted, financial institutions
are encouraged to anticipate some delay in delivery of payments instruments
and attempt to minimize the impact by exploring alternative transportation
arrangements. The Federal Reserve System is prepared to assist financial
institutions in exchanging payments documents and, as time and space allow,
other related financial documents normally sent by mail.
The Federal Reserve will attempt to transport payments instruments by
existing consolidated check shipments wherever possible.
Some packages of
payments documents and all other items may be subject to delivery times
exceeding those required for normal delivery of consolidated check shipments
if capacities of existing Federal Reserve shipment methods are exceeded.
Payments documents include cash items normally exchanged under cover
of cash letters, such as checks, drafts, money orders, ACH payments documents,
and lockbox packages. Other related items would include financial documents
and business communications, such as sales drafts, advices, and legal documents.
Other items should be sent via the Federal Reserve only when no other practical
method is available and the delivery of such items cannot be delayed for the
duration of the postal interruption.

Banks and others are encouraged to use the following incoming W A T S numbers in contacting this Bank:
1-800-442-7140 (intrastate) and 1-800-527-9200 (interstate). For calls placed locally, please use 651 plus the
extension referred to above.

This publication was digitized and made available by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas' Historical Library (



All financial institutions desiring to use this service are requested
to observe the following procedures:

Advise the Federal Reserve office serving your institution that
you intend to use our services.


Package payment documents for a specific financial institution
separately from all other financial documents for the same


Address all packages to the appropriate Federal Reserve office
that will receive and forward the package.


Mark payments document packages with the words "Payments Documents"
in the lower right-hand corner of the package face.


Mark all packages in the lower left-hand corner with the name, address,
and routing number of the financial institution to which delivery is
to be made.


Mark all packages with your return address in the upper left-hand
corner of the package face.


Deliver all packages to the Federal Reserve office serving your
institution by any available method, such as bank messenger,
courier, or other small package delivery service.

Shipments of currency, coin, and negotiable securities to this Bank
should continue to be handled in the normal manner, although delays in transit
likely will occur in the event of a strike. We will attempt to deliver currency
and coin ordered from us by the most expeditious method available. As an
additional contingency plan, financial institutions may wish to explore ad hoc
arrangements with other institutions to obtain adequate supplies of currency
and coin. The Federal Reserve will accept checks deposited with us in the
normal course of business.
These contingency arrangements may be placed in operation by either a
nationwide delivery interruption or a severe localized stoppage and are subject
to the conditions set forth in the attached statement.
Questions regarding procedures to be followed in the event of a disruption
should be directed to the following individuals at the appropriate office:
W.D. Basham, Mailing Department Manager

Dallas Head Office (651-6278)

Robert W. Schultz, Assistant Vice President

El Paso Branch


Vernon L. Bartee, Assistant Vice President

Houston Branch


John A. Bullock, Assistant Vice President

San Antonio Branch (224-2141)
Sincerely yours,

William H. Wallace
First Vice President

Statement of Conditions Under Which
Federal Reserve Banks will Handle
Certain Mail During a Postal Interruption

In view of the extreme emergency conditions which may prevail
in the event postal service is interrupted by a work stoppage, this
Bank will handle certain mail as previously described for delivery by
means of carrier services only under the following conditions: All
shipments should comply with regulations which would apply if the
shipments were sent by means of the Postal Service. Any and all
packages may be refused for any reason and may be returned if
refused by any other party. No Federal Reserve Bank shall have
any responsibility for any valuables or nonmailable matter sent to
it, for any failure on the part of the sender to comply with the
Private Express Statutes or any other law, for procuring insurance
on any shipment, for any special instructions, or for any neglect,
misconduct, mistake, or default of any other person. This Bank,
and any other Reserve Bank to which a package may be sent, shall
have no liability to any sender or any other person in connection
with a shipment handled by it, including without limitation
liability for misdelivery, loss or delay, except for its own
gross negligence. The sender shall indemnify each Reserve Bank
handling a shipment for any loss or expense resulting from such
handling except loss resulting from the Reserve Bank's own gross

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102