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Sec. 229.12 - Availability schedule.*

CAVEAT: References in this section to nonlocal checks are no longer effective. Nonlocal checks, by definition, ceased to exist when the Federal Reserve System finished its consolidation of check processing regions to a single region in 2010.

There are amendments to this section that are effective September 3, 2019, included in this color text, and July 1, 2020, included in this color text.


(a) Effective date. The availability schedule contained in this section is effective September 1, 1990.

Official Interpretation

VI. Section 229.12 Availability Schedule

A. 229.12(a) Effective Date

1. The availability schedule set forth in this section supersedes the temporary schedule that was effective September 1, 1988, through August 31, 1990.

(b) Local checks and certain other checks. Except as provided in paragraphs (d), (e), and (f) of this section, a depository bank shall make funds deposited in an account by a check available for withdrawal not later than the second business day following the banking day on which funds are deposited, in the case of--

(1) A local check;

(2) A check drawn on the Treasury of the United States that is not governed by the availability requirements of Sec. 229.10(c);

(3) A U.S. Postal Service money order that is not governed by the availability requirements of Sec. 229.10(c); and

(4) A check drawn on a Federal Reserve Bank or Federal Home Loan Bank; a check drawn by a state or unit of general local government; or a cashier's, certified, or teller's check; if any check referred to in this paragraph (b)(4) is a local check that is not governed by the availability requirements of Sec. 229.10(c).

Official Interpretation

B. 229.12(b) Local Checks and Certain Other Checks

1. Local checks must be made available for withdrawal not later than the second business day following the banking day on which the checks were deposited.

2. In addition, the proceeds of Treasury checks and U.S. Postal Service money orders not subject to next-day (or second-day) availability under §229.10(c), checks drawn on Federal Reserve Banks and Federal Home Loan Banks, checks drawn by a state or unit of general local government, cashier's checks, certified checks, and teller's checks not subject to next-day (or second-day) availability under §229.10(c) and payable in the same check processing region as the depositary bank, must be made available for withdrawal by the second business day following deposit.

3. Exceptions are made for withdrawals by cash or similar means and for deposits in banks located outside the 48 contiguous states. Thus, the proceeds of a local check deposited on a Monday generally must be made available for withdrawal on Wednesday.

Editor's Note: Effective 7/1/2020, para. 4 is added, to read:

4. Dollar Amount Adjustment—See section 229.11 for the rules regarding adjustments for inflation every five years to the dollar amounts in this section.

(c) Nonlocal checks--

(1) In general. Except as provided in paragraphs (d), (e), and (f) of this section, a depositary bank shall make funds deposited in an account by a check available for withdrawal not later than the fifth business day following the banking day on which funds are deposited, in the case of--

(i) A nonlocal check; and

(ii) A check drawn on a Federal Reserve Bank or Federal Home Loan Bank; a check drawn by a state or unit of general local government; a cashier's, certified, or teller's check; or a check deposited in a branch of the depositary bank and drawn on the same or another branch of the same bank, if any check referred to in this paragraph (c)(1)(ii) is a nonlocal check that is not governed by the availability requirements of Sec. 229.10(c).

(2) Nonlocal checks specified in appendix B-2 to this part must be made available for withdrawal not later than the times prescribed in that Appendix.

Official Interpretation

C. 229.12(c) Nonlocal Checks

1. Nonlocal checks must be made available for withdrawal not later than the fifth business day following deposit, i.e., proceeds of a nonlocal check deposited on a Monday must be made available for withdrawal on the following Monday. In addition, a check described in §229.10(c) that does not meet the conditions for next-day availability (or second-day availability) is treated as a nonlocal check, if the check is drawn on or payable through or at a nonlocal paying bank. Adjustments are made to the schedule for withdrawals by cash or similar means and deposits in banks located outside the 48 contiguous states.

2. Reduction in Schedules.

a. Section 603(d)(1) of the EFA Act (12 U.S.C. 4002(d)(1)) requires the Board to reduce the statutory schedules for any category of checks where most of those checks would be returned in a shorter period of time than provided in the schedules. The conferees indicated that “if the new system makes it possible for two-thirds of the items of a category of checks to meet this test in a shorter period of time, then the Federal Reserve must shorten the schedules accordingly.” H.R. Rep. No. 261, 100th Cong., 1st Sess. at 179 (1987).

b. Reduced schedules are provided for certain nonlocal checks where significant improvements can be made to the EFA Act's schedules due to transportation arrangements or proximity between the check processing regions of the depositary bank and the paying bank, allowing for faster collection and return. Appendix B sets forth the specific reduction of schedules applicable to banks located in certain check processing regions.

c. A reduction in schedules may apply even in those cases where the determination that the check is nonlocal cannot be made based on the routing number on the check. For example, a nonlocal credit union payable-through share draft may be subject to a reduction in schedules if the routing number of the payable-through bank that appears on the draft is included in appendix B, even though the determination that the payable-through share draft is nonlocal is based on the location of the credit union and not the routing number on the draft.

(d) Time period adjustment for withdrawal by cash or similar means. A depositary bank may extend by one business day the time that funds deposited in an account by one or more checks subject to paragraphs (b), (c), or (f) of this section are available for withdrawal by cash or similar means. Similar means include electronic payment, issuance of a cashier's or teller's check, or certification of a check, or other irrevocable commitment to pay, but do not include the granting of credit to a bank, a Federal Reserve Bank, or a Federal Home Loan Bank that presents a check to the depositary bank for payment. A depositary bank shall, however, make $400 [effective 7/1/2020, $450] of these funds available for withdrawal by cash or similar means not later than 5:00 p.m. on the business day on which the funds are available under paragraphs (b), (c), or (f) of this section. This $400 [effective 7/1/2020, $450] is in addition to the $100 [effective 7/1/2020, $225] available under Sec. 229.10(c)(1)(vii).

Editor's Note: Beginning July 1, 2020, the $400 and $100 amounts in this paragraph are subject to adjustment for inflation every five years. See § 229.11 for current values.

Official Interpretation

D. 229.12(d) Time Period Adjustment for Withdrawal by Cash or Similar Means

1. The EFA Act provides an adjustment to the availability rules for cash withdrawals. Funds from local and nonlocal checks need not be available for cash withdrawal until 5:00 p.m. on the day specified in the schedule. At 5:00 p.m., $400 [effective 7/1/2020, $450] of the deposit must be made available for cash withdrawal. This $400 [effective 7/1/2020, $450] is in addition to the first $100 [effective 7/1/2020, $225] of a day's deposit, which must be made available for withdrawal at the start of business on the first business day following the banking day of deposit. If the proceeds of local and nonlocal checks become available for withdrawal on the same business day, the $400 [effective 7/1/2020, $450] withdrawal limitation applies to the aggregate amount of the funds that became available for withdrawal on that day. The remainder of the funds must be available for cash withdrawal at the start of business on the business day following the business day specified in the schedule.

2. The EFA Act recognizes that the $400 [effective 7/1/2020, $450] that must be provided on the day specified in the schedule may exceed a bank's daily ATM cash withdrawal limit, and explicitly provides that the EFA Act does not supersede the bank's policy in this regard. The Board believes that the rationale for accommodating a bank's ATM withdrawal limit also applies to other cash withdrawal limits established by that bank. Section 229.19(c)(4) of the regulation addresses the relation between a bank's cash withdrawal limit (for over-the-counter cash withdrawals as well as ATM cash withdrawals) and the requirements of this subpart.

3. The Board believes that the Congress included this special cash withdrawal rule to provide a depositary bank with additional time to learn of the nonpayment of a check before it must make funds available to its customer. If a customer deposits a local check on a Monday, and that check is returned by the paying bank, the depositary bank may not receive the returned check until Thursday, the day after funds for a local check ordinarily must be made available for withdrawal. The intent of the special cash withdrawal rule is to minimize this risk to the depositary bank. For this rule to minimize the depositary bank's risk, it must apply not only to cash withdrawals, but also to withdrawals by other means that result in an irrevocable debit to the customer's account or commitment to pay by the bank on the customer's behalf during the day. Thus, the cash withdrawal rule also includes withdrawals by electronic payment, issuance of a cashier's or teller's check, certification of a check, or other irrevocable commitment to pay, such as authorization of an on-line point-of-sale debit. The rule also would apply to checks presented over the counter for payment on the day of presentment by the depositor or another person. Such checks could not be dishonored for insufficient funds if an amount sufficient to cover the check had became available for cash withdrawal under this rule; however, payment of such checks would be subject to the bank's cut-off hour established under U.C.C. 4-108. The cash withdrawal rule does not apply to checks and other provisional debits presented to the bank for payment that the bank has the right to return.

(e) Extension of schedule for certain deposits in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The depositary bank may extend the time periods set forth in this section by one business day in the case of any deposit, other than a deposit described in Sec. 229.10, that is--

(1) Deposited in an account at a branch of a depositary bank if the branch is located in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands; and

Editor's Note: Effective 9/3/2019, The introductory portion of § 229.12(e) and paragraph (e)(1) are amended to read:

(e) Extension of schedule for certain deposits in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The depositary bank may extend the time periods set forth in this section by one business day in the case of any deposit, other than a deposit described in § 229.10, that is—

(1) Deposited in an account at a branch of a depositary bank if the branch is located in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, or the U.S. Virgin Islands; and

(2) Deposited by a check drawn on or payable at or through a paying bank not located in the same state as the depositary bank.

Official Interpretation

E. 229.12(e) Extension of Schedule for Certain Deposits in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands

1. The EFA Act and regulation provide an extension of the availability schedules for check deposits at a branch of a bank if the branch is located in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands. The schedules for local checks, nonlocal checks (including nonlocal checks subject to the reduced schedules of appendix B), and deposits at nonproprietary ATMs are extended by one business day for checks deposited to accounts in banks located in these jurisdictions that are drawn on or payable at or through a paying bank not located in the same jurisdiction as the depositary bank. For example, a check deposited in a bank in Hawaii and drawn on a San Francisco paying bank must be made available for withdrawal not later than the third business day following deposit. This extension does not apply to deposits that must be made available for withdrawal on the next business day.

2. The Congress did not provide this extension of the schedules to checks drawn on a paying bank located in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands and deposited in an account at a depositary bank in the 48 contiguous states. Therefore, a check deposited in a San Francisco bank drawn on a Hawaii paying bank must be made available for withdrawal not later than the second rather than the third business day following deposit.

Editor's Note: Effective 7/1/2020, paragraphs 1 and 2 are revised, to read:

1. The EFA Act and regulation provide an extension of the availability schedules for check deposits at a branch of a bank if the branch is located in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, or the U.S. Virgin Islands. The schedules for local checks, nonlocal checks (including nonlocal checks subject to the reduced schedules of appendix B), and deposits at nonproprietary ATMs are extended by one business day for checks deposited to accounts in banks located in these jurisdictions that are drawn on or payable at or through a paying bank not located in the same jurisdiction as the depositary bank. For example, a check deposited in a bank in Hawaii and drawn on a San Francisco paying bank must be made available for withdrawal not later than the third business day following deposit. This extension does not apply to deposits that must be made available for withdrawal on the next business day.

(f) Deposits at nonproprietary ATMs. A depositary bank shall make funds deposited in an account at a nonproprietary ATM by cash or check available for withdrawal not later than the fifth business day following the banking day on which the funds are deposited.

Official Interpretation

F. 229.12(f) Deposits at Nonproprietary ATMs

1. The EFA Act and regulation provide a special rule for deposits made at nonproprietary ATMs. This paragraph does not apply to deposits made at proprietary ATMs. All deposits at a nonproprietary ATM must be made available for withdrawal by the fifth business day following the banking day of deposit. For example, a deposit made at a nonproprietary ATM on a Monday, including any deposit by cash or checks that would otherwise be subject to next-day (or second-day) availability, must be made available for withdrawal not later than Monday of the following week. The provisions of §229.10(c)(1)(vii) requiring a depositary bank to make up to $100 of an aggregate daily deposit available for withdrawal on the first business day after the banking day of deposit do not apply to deposits at a nonproprietary ATM.

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