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Most Fed services restored after 'operational error' causes outages

The Federal Reserve’s systems for transferring money and financial assets among banks, businesses and government entities went offline for a period of time on Wednesday, upending crucial parts of the country’s financial infrastructure.

The Fed said that a “Federal Reserve operational error” disrupted nearly all of the services the central bank provides as of 11:15 a.m Eastern.

“We acknowledge that payment deadlines are impacted and will communicate remediation efforts to our customers when available,” the Fed said in an announcement shortly after 2 p.m.

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The error temporarily disrupted a wide range of essential Fed tools, including FedACH, which banks use to transfer money between each other, and Check21, which the Fed uses to process checks.

Service to FedACH and FedWire, which also facilities money transfers, were both restored. The Fed was also able to reopen its online cash- and coin-ordering service and its portal for banks to send applications to the central bank, and FedLine, an information portal for banks.

Other downed services remained offline shortly after 3 p.m. Eastern

While the Fed has made progress reversing the shutdown, a long-term outage of the Fed's online services could cause intense chaos across the financial system, preventing banks and businesses from finalizing transactions and impeding basic banking functions. 

This developing report was updated at 3:09 p.m.