Richmond Fed History

Overview

 

Richmond Fed Building

The Richmond Fed was organized in May 1914, following the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act in December 1913 and after the completion of a process to select host cities for Reserve Banks.

Following the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act in December 1913, nearly 40 cities competed to become a Fed location. George Seay, a prominent banker who would become the Richmond Fed’s first governor (president), spearheaded the effort to bring the Bank to Richmond. He and other supporters pointed to Richmond's geographic location, its importance as a commercial and financial center, and its transportation and communications facilities, as well as Virginia's leading regional role in the banking business.

The Richmond Fed serves the Fifth Federal Reserve District, which includes Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, D.C., and most of West Virginia. Learn more about the regional economy.

The Bank's headquarters has had three locations in downtown Richmond, starting in offices near the federal courts in 1914. In 1921, the Bank moved to a new headquarters building on the city's historic Capitol Square (where Governor Seay had a penchant for hanging his canary cages, as described by a visitor in 1954). The current headquarters building, overlooking the James River, opened in 1978. The Richmond Fed has had offices in Baltimore since 1918 and in Charlotte, N.C., since 1927. The Bank formerly had operations in Charleston, W.Va.; Columbia, S.C.; and Culpeper, Va.

Since its founding, the Richmond Fed has had seven chief executives, starting with George Seay, who in addition to campaigning for Richmond played a key role in many early policy decisions. He served as governor from 1914 until 1936. Following Seay, the presidents of the Richmond Fed were Hugh Leach, Edward A. Wayne, Aubrey N. Heflin, Robert P. Black and J. Alfred Broaddus Jr. The Bank's current president is Jeffrey M. Lacker, who was appointed in 2004.

Contact Us
Video still
First 100 Years

Watch a video about the Bank's first 100 years.