Regional US Fed banks adopt records transparency policy By Reuters

Regional US Fed banks adopt records transparency policy By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Federal Reserve building is seen in Washington, U.S., January 26, 2022. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

(Reuters) – The 12 regional banks of the U.S. Federal Reserve system on Thursday said they had adopted a new “transparency and accountability” policy regarding requests for bank records from the media and public.

The policy goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2024. The Washington-based Board of Governors, which comes under the umbrella of the U.S. government, is already subject to Freedom of Information Act requests.

The move comes after more than a year of pressure from members of Congress, who oversee the central bank, with both Republicans and Democrats periodically accusing the regional Fed banks of stonewalling requests for information that they argued should be part of the public record.

The regional Fed banks, while overseen by the Board of Governors, are quasi-private institutions, technically owned by local private banks. They still have no legal obligation to disclose records and previously had no joint policy on handling such information requests from either Congress or the public.

The adoption of the new policy means that records created on or after January 1, 2024, that fall into a prescribed category and are not otherwise exempt, “will be published or provided upon request,” according to the policy document.

The regional Fed banks contribute to monetary policy making and in the case of the New York Fed, implement it, while also regulating local banks and providing services to financial firms.

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