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Federal Reserve Banks

 

What are Federal Reserve Banks?

Federal Reserve Banks were established by Congress as the operating arms of the nation's central banking system. Many of the services provided by this network to depository institutions and the government are similar to services provided by banks and thrift institutions to business customers and individuals. Reserve Banks hold the cash reserves of depository institutions and make loans to them. They move currency and coin into and out of circulation, and collect and process millions of checks each day. They provide checking accounts for the Treasury, issue and redeem government securities, and act in other ways as fiscal agent for the U.S. government. They supervise and examine member banks for safety and soundness. The Reserve Banks also participate in the activity that is the primary responsibility of the Federal Reserve System, the setting of monetary policy.

For the purpose of carrying out these day-to-day operations of the Federal Reserve System, the nation has been divided into twelve Federal Reserve Districts, with Banks in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Dallas, and San Francisco. Twenty-five Branches of these Banks serve particular areas within each District.

For more information on Federal Reserve Banks, see The Structure of the Federal Reserve System: Federal Reserve Banks on the Board of Governors' web site.

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How many Federal Reserve Banks are there, and where are they located?
There are twelve Federal Reserve Banks, one in each of the twelve Federal Reserve Districts (see map of the Federal Reserve System).:
  • 1st District, Boston. Connecticut (excluding Fairfield County), Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont
  • 2nd District, New York. New York State, twelve counties in northern New Jersey, Fairfield County in Connecticut, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands
  • 3rd District, Philadelphia. Eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and all of Delaware
  • 4th District, Cleveland. Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.
  • 5th District, Richmond. Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and most of West Virginia
  • 6th District, Atlanta. Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee
  • 7th District, Chicago. Iowa and most of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin
  • 8th District, St. Louis. Arkansas and portions of six other states: Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois
  • 9th District, Minneapolis. Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, twenty-six counties in northwestern Wisconsin, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan
  • 10th District, Kansas City. Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, northern New Mexico, and Western Missouri
  • 11th District, Dallas. Texas, northern Louisiana, and southern New Mexico
  • 12th District, San Francisco. Nine western states--Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington--and American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands

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Why is there only one District for the West Coast and more Districts toward the East and Midwest?
The locations of Federal Reserve District boundaries, and of the Banks within the Districts, were determined mostly by the geographic distribution of the U.S. population at the time the Federal Reserve System was created (1913), to accommodate local needs.

Over time, Branches of the Reserve Banks have been added to accommodate changing needs. The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, for example, has five branches--in Seattle,Portland, Salt Lake City, Phoenix and Los Angeles.


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Who are the Federal Reserve Bank presidents?
Under the Federal Reserve Act, the president of a Federal Reserve Bank is the chief executive officer of the Bank. He or she is appointed by the individual Bank's board of directors, with the approval of the Board of Governors, for a term of five years.

The terms of the presidents of the twelve Reserve Banks run concurrently, ending on the last day of February in years ending with 1 and 6 (for example, 2001, 2006, and 2011). The appointment of a president who takes office after a term has begun ends with the end of that term. A Reserve Bank president may be reappointed after serving a full term or a partial term. Reserve Bank presidents are subject to mandatory retirement upon becoming 65 years of age. However, a president initially appointed after age 55 may, at the option of the Bank's board of directors, serve until attaining ten years of service in the office or age 70, whichever comes first.

Current Reserve Bank presidents

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Are Federal Reserve Bank employees considered government employees?
No. Employees of the Federal Reserve Banks are not government employees. They are paid as part of the expenses of their employing Reserve Bank.

How many checks are processed by the Federal Reserve Banks?
Federal Reserve Bank activities are reported on in the Board of Governors' Reports to Congress. Data on check processing specifically can be found in the "Operations in Principal Departments of the Federal Reserve Banks" table included in each Federal Reserve Board Annual Report. In the 2010 Annual Report the information is in Table 12 "Operations in principal departments of the Federal Reserve Banks, 2007-2010"

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What is the 'Beige Book?'
The Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District, commonly known as the Beige Book, is a report published eight times per year prior to Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings. Each Federal Reserve Bank gathers anecdotal information on current economic conditions in its District through reports from Bank and Branch directors and interviews with key business contacts, economists, market experts, and other sources. The Beige Book summarizes this information by District and sector. An overall summary of the twelve district reports is prepared by a designated Federal Reserve Bank on a rotating basis.

Access the Beige Book from the following sites:

Board of Governors This site has complete Beige Book contents going back to 1996.

Beige Book Archive This Minneapolis Fed site has Beige Book contents going back to 1970.

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Where can I find a list of Federal Reserve Bank holidays?
A list of the holidays observed by Federal Reserve Banks and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is available on the Boa rd of Governors' website.

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When did the Federal Reserve Banks open for business?
The Federal Reserve Banks opened their doors for business on November 16, 1914.

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