—Progress continued on the Bank's Operations Center, with occupancy scheduled for the first quarter of 1997. Approximately half of the employees at the Cleveland office were relocated to temporary leased space in late 1996 for a two-year period while the historic main office building undergoes renovation.

—The Bank sponsored conferences, educational initiatives, and outreach programs on a variety of topics, including the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, regionalization and emerging markets, the dynamic effects of monetary policy, the Community Reinvestment Act, and other laws and regulations.
—Mary Ellen Withrow, Treasurer of the United States, formally introduced the new 1995 series $2 bill in November. More than 1,000 people visited the Cleveland office over a two-day period for the opportunity to purchase uncut sheets of currency.
—President Jerry Jordan and other Cleveland Fed officers discussed issues of concern with bankers throughout Ohio and Pennsylvania as part of a bankers' meeting series instituted in 1996. More than 100 financial-institution executives attended these meetings to discuss local business and economic conditions, plans for new payments services technologies, and recent changes in banking regulation.

—Our staff of Research economists had 17 papers or articles published or accepted for publication in leading U.S. and international scholarly journals.
—All of the Bank's Research publications, as well as information from our Banking Supervision and Regulation, Corporate Communications, Data Services, and Marketing areas, were made available to the general public on the Bank's home page on the World Wide Web:
—The Financial Services Research Group, which contributes research and economic analysis in support of the Federal Reserve System's Financial Services Policy Committee, continues to operate from the Cleveland Reserve Bank.

—The Bank sponsored the World Series of Electronic Payments to update customers on pending changes in this area. Nearly 700 customers from throughout the District attended these sessions, where they received information on the electronic federal tax payment system, automated clearinghouse (ACH), wire transfer, and the Federal Reserve's new national book-entry system.
—The Cleveland Fed successfully implemented FedACH, the new standard software for automated clearinghouse transactions, with no disruption in service to customers. The Bank also successfully migrated its mainframe data processing operations to a communal environment at FRAS, the Federal Reserve Automation Services site in Richmond, Virginia.
—In cooperation with ACH associations, the Bank continued to champion the utility direct payment program. The 1996 campaign yielded more than 90,000 payment agreements, resulting in additional ACH volume of 1.1 million items. The program serves as a model for similar efforts in other areas of the country.
—As one of five regional processing sites and one of two regional print sites for issuing savings bonds, the Pittsburgh office continued to serve the U.S. Treasury, our largest customer. The Bank began to accept payroll savings bonds via electronic telecommunication (bulkdata) connections in response to customer requests.
—As the Unisys/FRBIPS project office, the Cleveland Fed assumed a lead role in partnering with Unisys to set the strategic direction and develop the requirements for the next-generation check processing system.
—The Bank continues to work with customers to better understand their needs and expectations. A number of new products, such as check imaging, were introduced directly in response to customer needs. Another example is the Bank's upgrade to a LAN-based operating system for Noncash items, which both reduced a lengthy backlog on return items and enhanced cost efficiencies.

—Customers responded enthusiastically to the Bank's heightened focus on quality. The Quality Assessment Survey conducted in the spring showed solid improvement in the Bank's ability to meet and exceed customer expectations across all services.
—Employees' customer service and communications skills were enhanced through attendance at 79 "Superior Service" classes held throughout the year at our four offices. Employee facilitation teams were formed and trained in each office to ensure timely problem identification and effective resolution.
—In February, the Bank adopted a functional management structure across the four offices to strengthen our ability to achieve strategic objectives and to provide superior service to customers.

—The Bank successfully carried out its supervisory responsibilities, adopting a risk-based approach, and the condition of the District's financial institutions remains superior.
—In conjunction with several other Reserve Banks, the Cleveland Fed actively participated in the development of the Joint Supervisory Protocol among the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and state banking agencies to promote seamless supervision and reduce the regulatory burden on state-chartered banks.
—The Bank contributed to the development and implementation of the Examiner Workstation, designed to allow examiners to download information from a bank's computer system before and during commercial-bank field examinations.
—To ensure the Fourth District's readiness to respond to sweeping changes in interstate banking and branching laws, the Bank provided internal communication and training and solicited banks' input on the potential impact of the legislation. The Cleveland Fed continues its System leadership role in this initiative by helping to form and direct policy decisions and to provide useful tools for implementing those decisions.

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