Sen. Lummis Statement on Federal Reserve Master Account Announcement

November 4, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) issued the following statement after the Federal Reserve Board of Governors announced its proposal to disclose a periodic list of institutions with master accounts. 

“This announcement by the Federal Reserve Board is a step in the right direction, but isn’t nearly enough. I’m glad to see the Fed will begin issuing a periodic report regarding what institutions have master accounts, but it should also include what other institutions applied for accounts and the status of those applications,” said Sen. Lummis. “Also, the proposal states that the Fed would only release a list of depository institutions that have master accounts and not a list of non-depository institutions. We need answers on the potential lack of consistency. For nearly two years, the Fed has continued to put up unnecessary and illegal roadblocks for Wyoming Special Depository Institutions. The public needs to know why.”

Senator Lummis has been outspoken over her concerns regarding Federal Reserve master accounts. 

Sen. Lummis pressed Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on the delay in SPDI master account access in a hearing before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Development.

She also penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal urging the Federal Reserve to act on these applications with all due urgency. 

Special purpose depository institutions (SPDI) are designed to safely integrate digital assets into the U.S. banking system. SPDI banks were created under a Wyoming law passed in 2019. They are required under Wyoming law to maintain 100% or more of their depository liabilities in liquid assets. More information on SPDI banks in Wyoming can be found here. 

In 1994, Congress passed a law requiring the Federal Reserve to act on all applications within one year. Nearly two years later Wyoming SPDI banks have received no final decision from the Fed.