The Federal Reserve payment systems used to settle transactions between U.S. financial institutions have suffered a massive disruption due to an ‘operational error’.
The system used by U.S. banks to execute some $3 trillion in transactions daily began suffering outages at around 11.15am on Wednesday, and remained out more than three hours later.
‘Our technical teams have determined that the cause is a Federal Reserve operational error. We will provide updates via service status as more information becomes available,’ the Fed said in a service alert at 2.14pm.
The backbone settlement service of the U.S. financial system, Fedwire, was among the systems impacted, and the Fed acknowledged that ‘payment deadlines are impacted’ by the disruption.
The potential impacts on consumer banking services were not immediately clear. A spokesperson for the Federal Reserve did not immediately respond to an inquiry from DailyMail.com.
‘The Federal Reserve Bank staff is currently investigating a possible issue or disruption to multiple services,’ the Fed first said in an alert at 12.43 pm.
An update at 1.18pm confirmed the disruption and added ‘We will continue to provide updates as soon as they are available.’
Among the affected services was Fedwire, the system for large transfers between banks which last year handled 184 million transactions totaling more than $840 trillion.
Every day, transactions over Fedwire total more than $3.3 trillion, according to Fed data.
Other affected systems included FedACH, which generally handles smaller transactions, and The National Settlement Service, used by depository institutions with Federal Reserve Bank master accounts.
Every other transaction service maintained by the Fed was affected by the disruptions.
Applications for the Central Bank, the bank-of-banks where financial institutions deposit funds, were back online as of 2.17pm.
‘We acknowledge that payment deadlines are impacted and will communicate remediation efforts to our customers when available,’ the Fed said in a service alert. ‘Thank you for your patience while we work to resolve the issue.’