Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told Congress
that community banks are strongly pushing the agency to have a leadership role in faster payments.
Powell told the House Financial Services Committee that the Fed's request for comment on whether it should operate a real-time gross settlement service is based on recommendations from the agency's Faster Payments Task Force, which had broad community bank representation.
He also noted that the Fed has received more than 400 comment letters supporting Fed involvement in real-time payments.
Responding to questions from lawmakers, Powell also said that while he doesn't expect real-time payments to be in place by next year, ubiquitous access is essential and a founding principle of the task force's work.
ICBA has repeatedly called on the Fed to have a leadership role in faster payments. In a briefing to the House committee's staff members on Tuesday, ICBA's Cary Whaley said only the Fed can ensure ubiquity and equal access to real-time settlement. The briefing followed a recent letter to Powell
, blog post
, and comment letter
from ICBA detailing community bank support for Fed involvement.