Full text of Roundup : April 1984
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DALLAS Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas April 1984 New Check Program Targets High Dollar Items On April 23, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas will implement a new premium check collection service. This new service represents the second phase of a major plan by the Federal Reserve System to improve the effi ciency of the nation’s payments system and to speed up the collection of checks. The program, known as the high dollar group sort, will allow immediate credit for certain non-city items, and return items will be processed more quickly due to faster presentment. In addition, this premium service also will provide significant improvements in deposit deadlines and is especially designed for the collection of high dollar items. The program also has the potential to yield greater net benefits to collecting institutions as a result of increased earnings associated with im proved availability and lower net col lection costs. Initially, all presentment points with daily average presentments—of at least $10 million—generated from out side the local Reserve office territory will be included in the program. Other endpoints may be added at a later date. Along with this new program, several new payor bank services have been standardized to provide the support necessary for the successful im plementation of the high dollar group sort program. The Dallas Fed will make available timely account total informa tion to allow payor institutions to con tinue efficient cash management ser vices for their corporate customers. In addition, a magnetic tape of all checks received in a high-speed cash letter can be provided to payor institutions. Other options include telephone notification of account totals, ad justments and reject totals. Improving the efficiency of the payments system is a continuing goal of the Federal Reserve System. The high dollar group sort program is the second phase of a project specifically designed to improve efficiency. The first phase was implemented in 1983 when the Federal Reserve imple mented a uniform noon presentment time—and corresponding later deposit times and improved availabilities—for city checks. As a result of this first phase, checks with a total daily average value of approximately $2 billion are being collected one day earlier than before. An estimated $1 billion will be added to this figure with the implementation of the high dollar group sort program. INSIDE_______________ The high dollar group sort program will speed up check processing at the Fed. ■ FOOD COUPONS__________ ■ RESERVE REQUIREMENTS ■ ADJUSTABLE MORTGAGES Council Appointee The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas has selected Nat S. Rogers, chairman of the board of First City Bancorporation of Texas, Inc., and chairman of the Executive Committee of First City National Bank of Houston, as the Eleventh District represen tative on the Federal Advisory Council for 1984. This council is composed of individuals from the 12 Federal Reserve districts who meet with the Board of Governors in Washington to discuss issues relevant to economic, credit and banking conditions. Active in the banking com munity, Rogers has served as a director for the Houston branch of the Dallas Fed and as presi dent of the American Bankers Association. Redemption Process Easier for Food Coupons The second phase of a project designed to improve the food coupon redemption process will take effect April 1 for the Dallas, Houston and San Antonio offices and May 1 for the El Paso office of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. The second phase is part of a joint project to improve the food coupon redemption process begun in January 1983 between the Food and Nutrition Service and the Federal Reserve System. Phase one, which went into ef fect at that time, required depositing institutions to forward all redemption certificates to the Federal Reserve of fice serving that institution along with the food coupon deposit, but did not re quire redemption certifica tes to balance the total deposit. This pro cedure will remain in effect under the second phase as well. Phase two will require institutions to use a new deposit document which is preprinted with the depositing institu tion’s name, address and nine-digit routing code. This document, which will be supplied by the Reserve Bank, is designed to be read by an optical scan ner to insure accuracy and reduce pro cessing time. For further information on the pro gram, please contact the Cash Depart ment at local Reserve bank offices. Reserves: An Important Supply of Funds Most financial institutions are re Other institutions, including savings quired to maintain a percentage of and loan associations and credit customer deposits in an account under unions, still are in the process of the Federal Reserve’s control. These phasing-in their reserve requirements. deposits, known as reserves, previous Some elements of reserve re ly were required only of banks who quirements change periodically. The 3 were members of the Federal Reserve System. With the passage of the Reserve requirements of financial institutions Monetary Control Act of Type of deposit and deposit interval 1980, most financial in Net transaction accounts stitutions were required $0 to $28.9 million to begin holding reserves Over $28.9 million with the Federal Re Nonpersonal time deposits (by original maturity) Less than 1Vi years serve. In s titu tio n s 1Vi years or more gradually have been Eurocurrency liabilities phasing-in their reserve All types requirem ents— if they previously had not been required to hold reserves—or phasingpercent requirement for net transac down the percentage of reserves held if tion accounts, such as demand they already were required to do so. deposits and share draft accounts, in Banks who were already members of creases at the beginning of each calen the Federal Reserve System completed dar year. Initially, $25 million was set their phase-down in September 1983. as the level of transaction accounts against which an institution must maintain a 3 percent reserve require ment. Since 1980, that figure has in creased and was $28.9 million as of December 29, 1983 (see box). Another requirement that can change yearly is the level of liabilities that are exempt from reserve requirements. In 1982, the first $2 million Percent of reservable liabilities had a zero percent re 3 serve requirement. As of 12 January 12, 1984, that 3 level increased to $2.2 0 million. By increasing or de 3 creasing the amount of funds available to insti tutions to meet their reserve require ments, and by setting reserve require ment percentages, the Fed can influ ence the amount of funds available for expansion of the money supplythrough loans, investments and deposits. Mortgages Follow Adjustable Rate Trend Adjustable rate mortgages, whose rates vary with changes in market in terest rates, are gaining in popularity. As interest rates have become more stable, investors have beome more willing to base their home mortgages on a fluctuating rate. These types of mortgages currently account for about 50 percent of all mortgages sold in the United States (see table). The advan tage to the consumer in purchasing a home with an ARM is that rates typical ly are lower because the individual shares the risk of rising interest rates with the lender. Lenders like to make these types of loans because sharing the risk lowers their exposure to fluc tuations in interest rates. Rates on adjustable rate mortgages can be based on interest rate indexes, three-month, six-month and one-year. Treasury notes are securities with a maturity of two to 10 years, and Treasury bonds have maturities of 10 years or more. A Treasury constant maturity is an index determined by the Treasury Department through a survey of five U.S. government securities dealers. Only actively-traded issues are used in the index. For example, a survey will determine what rate would be paid if the Treasury were to sell a new security with a particular maturity. A yield curve is then plotted, with the horizontal axis showing the maturity date and the vertical axis measuring the yield. Constant maturity rates are then read from that curve. The categories for constant maturities are one-, two-, three-, five-, seven-, 10-, 20-and 30-year rates. A consumer pur chasing a home with an adjustable ra te m ortgage should consider how often the rate changes to reflect market conditions. Rates on ARMs can increase or decrease according to prearranged terms. For example, they may change immediately according to interest rate fluctuations or they may change every three to five years. Exact ly when the rate on the mortgage changes is established in response to the type of loan a consumer is qualified for and financial need. For protection, consumers should shop around for favorable terms, paying at tention to limits on rate increases per mitted per year and over the whole term, and limits on payment increases. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System has two statistical releases that report the rates on Treasury securities and Treasury constant maturities in addi tion to federal funds, commercial paper and secondary market cer tific a te of deposit rates. These releases come out on a weekly and monthly basis, and are called an H.15 Adjustments to the interest rate s h a ll correspond directly to the movement of an interest-rate index on a national or regional index that measures the rate of inflation or on the rate of change in disposable consumer income. The index selected must be readily available to, and verifiable by, the borrower and beyond the control of the lending association. Often to in sure consistency and to provide a stan dard so loans easily can be resold if necessary, institutions tie rates on ARMs to indexes reported by the Federal Reserve System. ARMs are commonly based on either the rate of return on Treasury bills or on a “con stant maturity’’ rate. These indexes meet the requirements of being readily available to consumers as well as serv ing as measures of interest rate ac tivity and the cost of funds for institutions. There are three types of Treasury s e c u ritie s — b ills , notes and bonds—and eight categories of Treasury constant maturities. Treasury bills come in three types of maturities; and G.13 respectively. To receive these releases, please contact the following: Publications Services, The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, D.C., 20551. Each week, the Dallas Fed provides informa tion on the latest Treasury bill auction through a recorded telephone message (see box). Telephone numbers for interest rate recorded message Treasury bills (214) 651-6177 Dallas (214) 263-1093 Metro (800) 442-7390 Texas (800) 527-9208 National Treasury notes and bonds (214) 651-6384 Percent of homes sold with an adjustable rate mortgage 1983 New homes Previously occupied homes Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec 35 29 30 23 30 37 27 24 42 44 46 49 36 28 29 31 28 30 26 36 46 52 56 56 Source: Federal Home Loan Bank Board Journal, February 1984 Dallas Fed Hosts Consumer Credit Seminar The Dallas Fed recently hosted a seminar on consumer credit for ap proximately 40 local secondary school teachers. The seminar, held in early March, was co-sponsored with the North Texas S tate Center for Economic Education—a nonprofit educational organization offering educators professional assistance in teaching methodology and curriculum development. The NTCEE sponsors a wide variety of programs geared toward better economic understanding for both educators and community organizations. Topics for the seminar included a profile of the American consumer and discussions on consumer laws such as the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Fair Credit Billing Act. Most of the legislation discussed was passed in the 1970s in an effort to protect con sumer’s rights from unfair credit practices. Consumer credit education is generating increased interest among educators. ^^>o m r H m 1 os >* z ><nc/) =E 5L » » S T3 O CZ) _ CO ~ 0"0 > "O o 03 =5 CD 30 0) o ZD C o O- 5 w za 5 IO m fO O N> o 0) 3 E CD o r- 3 O > 5" > (Z) £D ZD 03 O O CD O ^ ■g U cd I $ m 03 a; CD o 3 CD Q. CD c 5 CD T J O) C O ’ 03