Federal Reserve money transfer services that are crucial to funneling cash around the financial system experienced a disruption for several hours Wednesday, an outage that the central bank blamed on an “operational error.”
It appeared to be more of a blip than a crisis, and most services were restored by midafternoon.
The hiccup hit Fed services that are crucial to transferring money between banks and settling payments for businesses and financial institutions, along with tools that facilitate some types of check cashing and depositing, the Fed’s outage indicator reported.
The Fed became aware of problems around 11:15 a.m. By shortly after 3 p.m., its update page said that most services had been restored.
Because the services were restored within a few hours, many banking customers may not even have known there was an outage.
“The solution here is to go fix whatever server went down and stay open two hours later,” said Guy LeBas, the chief fixed income strategist at Janney. LeBas worked at a bank in a role that had him interacting with the Fed’s systems in the early- and mid-2000s. He noted that while Wednesday’s was an unusually long outage, “it used to go down all the time.”