The Federal Reserve Board has requested public comment on proposed amendments to Regulation CC (Availability of Funds and Collection of Checks) to encourage banks to clear and return checks electronically, add provisions that govern electronic items cleared through the check-collection system, and shorten the "exception" hold periods on deposited funds.
To encourage electronic collection and return of checks between banks, the proposal provides that a depositary bank would be entitled to the expeditious return of a check only if it agrees to receive returned checks electronically. In addition, the proposal would permit the bank responsible for paying a check to require that checks presented to it for same-day settlement be presented electronically. More generally, the proposal would apply Regulation CC's collection and return provisions, including warranties, to electronic check images that meet certain requirements.
Additionally, due to the faster collection and return timeframes that result from electronic collection and return, the proposal would shorten the safe-harbor period for an exception hold to four business days, which should enable the depositary bank to learn of the return of virtually all unpaid checks before being required to make these deposits available for withdrawal.
See press release for full details.