WASHINGTON, DC - Several payment services belonging to the U.S. Federal Reserve came to a standstill on Wednesday, including the system that allows for large-value, time-critical payments.
The Fed's website noted that issues related to problems with Fedwire, a backbone of the U.S. payments systems, were resolved after several hours and operations were restored just before 3 p.m. ET.
However, other Federal Reserve services were still encountering issues later in the day.
The Federal Reserve, in a statement, cited an "operational error" as the reason behind the glitch, while highlighting the significant efforts being undertaken to notify customers and resume services.
Fedwire is the most trusted system for daily inter-institutional channeling of very large sums of money in wire transfers, with over $3 trillion having been transferred with this service just in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Extensive issues were encountered, and the Fed staff "became aware of a disruption for all services" starting around 11:15 a.m. ET, according to a message on the Fed website.
"Our technical teams have determined that the cause is a Federal Reserve operational error," the message stated.
The Fed recently claimed to have "taken steps to help ensure the resilience" of Fedwire and national settlement service applications, "including to the point of failure."
The number of banks or companies that were impacted by the failure, was not disclosed.