The Federal Reserve Banks announced today
that Gary H. Stern
of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, will become chair of the Financial
Services Policy Committee (FSPC), effective immediately. The announcement
was made at a scheduled meeting of the FSPC in Boston.
Stern is replacing Cathy E. Minehan, president of the Federal Reserve
Bank of Boston, who has held the position of FSPC chair since 1998. Minehan
was recently named vice-chair of the Conference of Presidents, a leadership
group comprised of Reserve Bank presidents.
As FSPC chair, Stern will oversee the operations of the Federal Reserve
Banks' various product offices that direct the provision of financial
services to depository institutions. Under the terms of the Monetary Control
Act, many of these services are priced. In total, Reserve Banks collected
about $900 million in gross revenue from such services in 2002. The product
offices include the Retail Payments Office, the Wholesale Product Office,
the Cash Product Office, the Treasury Relations and Support Office, Customer
Relations and Support Office, and the Financial Support office. The FSPC
also works with the financial services industry to improve the nation's
payments system, the so-called plumbing of the economy.
Stern noted a national and international payments system in transition.
“The shift from paper to electronics is well under way and bodes
well for increased efficiency, safety and soundness,” Stern said.
“The next five years will likely bring accelerated change as consumers
and businesses adopt more convenient payments choices. It is a significant
juncture, a time to be both progressive and prudent. As they say, the
pipes are under the sink for good reason, but good plumbing requires strategic
choices and sound maintenance.
“I look forward to building on the exceptional progress that Cathy
and her colleagues have achieved in the payments arena,” said Stern.
“Her steady-handed stewardship tackled Y2K, navigated the challenges
of September 11th and modernized our operational infrastructure.”
Stern becomes the third chair of the FSPC, which was created in 1994
to coordinate management and strategic planning for the provision of financial
services by the 12 regional Reserve Banks. Stern is joined on the committee
by four Federal Reserve colleagues, including Sandra Pianalto, president
of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Anthony M. Santomero, president
of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Paul M. Connolly, first vice
president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and Walter A. Varvel,
first vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.