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
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.
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.
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.
Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and most of West
District, Atlanta. Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and parts
Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee
Chicago. Iowa and most of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan,
- 8th District, St. Louis. Arkansas and
portions of six other states: Missouri, Mississippi,
Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois
District, Minneapolis. Minnesota,
Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, twenty-six counties
northwestern Wisconsin, and the Upper Peninsula of
- 10th District, Kansas City. Colorado,
Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, northern New Mexico,
and Western Missouri
- 11th District, Dallas.
northern Louisiana, and southern New Mexico
District, San Francisco. Nine western states--Alaska,
Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah,
and Washington--and American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern
Why is there only one District for the West Coast and more Districts toward the East and Midwest?
The locations of
Federal Reserve District
, 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.
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
the approval of the Board of Governors, for a term of five
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
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"
What is the 'Beige Book?'
The Summary of Commentary on Current Economic
Conditions by Federal Reserve District,
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
contents going back to 1996.
This Minneapolis Fed site has Beige
Book contents going back to 1970.
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
When did the Federal Reserve Banks open for business?
The Federal Reserve Banks opened their doors for business
on November 16, 1914.