COOKEVILLE – Wednesday, Congressman John Rose (TN-6) advocated on behalf of Tennessee bankers, retail businesses and their customers by pushing Federal Reserve (Fed) Chairman Jerome Powell in his biannual report to Congress for answers to why the Fed has failed to fulfill weekly coinage orders to banks in Tennessee and across the country.
“I’m curious what the Federal Reserve would suggest banks and retail businesses do to deal with this shortage,” Rose said. “I’m thinking about not only the banks and other retails businesses, but their customers, who will be faced with the prospect of having to round up or round down. In a time when pennies are the difference between profit and loss, it seems to be a bigger concern than the Fed’s announcement indicated that it is.”
Congressman Rose called on the Fed to issue more robust guidance to banks across the country dealing with this issue and Chairman Powell committed to do so.
Rep. Rose stressed to Powell, “We don’t want to wake up to headlines of ‘Banks Out of Money.’”
On Monday, June 15, the Federal Reserve issued a statement to its banks on the Strategic Allocation of Coin Inventories. This explained to banks that coin orders from depository institutions have begun to increase as regions reopen, resulting in the Federal Reserve’s coin inventory being reduced to below normal levels. It therefore alerted banks that, effective Monday, June 15, Reserve Banks and Federal Reserve coin distribution locations began allocating coin inventories.
Several banks in Tennessee’s Sixth District alerted Rose to this issue, stating that they would likely run out of coinage by the end of the week – ultimately affecting customers. Communities in the Sixth District are very dependent on a cash economy. A coin shortage would have an extremely large impact on these communities if businesses are unable to make change. Rose is a cosponsor of HR 2650, the Payment Choice Act, which is a bipartisan initiative to require merchants to accept cash to protect these areas.
U.S. Representative John Rose represents Tennessee’s Sixth Congressional District and resides in Cookeville with his wife, Chelsea, and their son, Guy. The Sixth District includes Cannon, Clay, Coffee, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Robertson, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, White and Wilson counties as well as portions of Cheatham and Van Buren counties.