Banks Prepare For Federal Cash Crunch

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WASHINGTON, July 30 (UPI) — U.S. banks are preparing for the possibility that millions of federal checks will be delayed if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling, officials say.

“Every bank is doing things their own way to take care of their customers,” Richard Hunt, president of the Consumer Bankers Association, told The Washington Post. “Obviously, they hope this deal is done quickly.”

If the government is unable to borrow to cover expenses, it would depend on cash on hand to cover everything from Social Security checks to paychecks for military personnel and federal employees. The Treasury Department has said the cash crunch could come as soon as Wednesday if Congress fails to act by Tuesday.

Navy Federal Credit Union’s plans include advancing pay to direct-deposit customers on active military service and Defense Department civilian employees. Officials say the credit union, the biggest in the United States, will speed approval for overdraft protection and higher credit card limits.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency plans to issue guidelines for the nationally chartered banks it regulates that would protect customers from high fees for bounced checks or overdrafts.

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