The National Organization of Clearing Houses has formed a task force to help banks find and cure operational headaches arising from the Federal Reserve's new same-day-settlement rules.

The rules, to take effect in January, will require banks to return or fund within a day, and without extra charge, checks presented for interbank settlement before 8 a.m.

The Fed hopes the rules will help private check clearers compete with its own services and give banks an incentive to do more electronic check settlement.

The Herndon, Va.-based group has already published operating guidelines for same-day settlement. The task force is supposed to modify the guidelines if necessary.

Ian Macoy, director of the organization, said members of the task force will include major check clearing houses in New York. Chicago, Arizona, and California as well as the major trade associations for community and commercial banks and credit unions.

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