The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis was established in 1914, after the creation of the Federal Reserve System in 1913. The Eighth Federal Reserve District is headquartered in St. Louis and has branches in Little Rock, Ark., Louisville, Ky., and Memphis, Tenn.
The District includes all of Arkansas and portions of six other states: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. The St. Louis Bank serves most of eastern Missouri and southern Illinois. See a map (PDF 209 KB).
As one of the 12 regional Reserve banks in the Fed System, the St. Louis Fed is central to America's economy. All of the Reserve banks share some degree of similar duties. But because the banks are independent of one another, each has some specialized assignments and tasks that distinguish it. The St. Louis Bank’s five most-critical functions can be described as follows:
We promote stable prices and economic growth.
- Our Bank president, James Bullard, helps guide the nation's economy by participating on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) in Washington, D.C. Advised by the Research staff, he contributes informed opinions about national and District conditions and influences decisions about monetary policy.
- Our Bank promotes low and stable inflation as the best environment for healthy and sustainable economic growth. The Bank has been at the center of the inflation debate since the 1960s.
- Our economists contribute to the discussion and analysis of monetary policy and other issues to improve the nation's economic performance.
We foster a sound financial system.
- We supervise financial institutions in our region by assessing the soundness of their assets and operations; the effectiveness of their risk management practices; and their compliance with laws and regulations governing activities and consumer protection.
- We collect and verify data from financial institutions to ensure an accurate accounting of financial institutions' conditions, as well as the money and reserves in the banking system.
- We ensure adequate liquidity in financial markets by making loans to depository institutions through the discount window and allowing the prudent use of intra-day credit.
- We process bank requests for acquisitions and new activities.
- We provide technology-enabled instruction to employees of the Fed and other regulatory agencies, fostering consistency among agencies.
- We study financial developments and trends to identify emerging risks and policy issues.
We provide payment services to financial institutions.
- We meet our District banks' demand for currency and coin.
- We ensure that the currency circulated within our District is high-quality and authentic.
We support the U.S. Treasury's financial operations.
- We manage the Fed System's overall relationship with the U.S. Treasury.
- We coordinate the activities of more than 45 System operations and business lines supporting the Treasury to ensure the smooth financial functioning of the U.S government.
- We operate nine lines of business in the District to help Treasury meet the payment, cash and debt-management needs of the U.S. government and the American people.
- We are the nation's central processing site for Treasury checks and postal money orders.
We advance economic knowledge, community development and fair access to credit.
- We inform the public about Fed activities and their effects on the economy through our publications, web sites and outreach efforts, such as Dialogue With the Fed.
- We disseminate economic research that is useful to a wide range of audiences, including the general public as well as economists, policymakers, teachers, students and regulators.
- We maintain one of the world's most comprehensive online economic databases (FRED). Our free online data services include: —FRED®, ALFRED®, GeoFRED®, CASSIDI®, FRASER®; and IDEAS.
- We promote a dialogue between the Fed and regional business leaders about the economy.
- We develop curricula and programs that help teachers teach and students understand economics and personal finance.
- We provide programs and advisory services that promote community and economic development in our region.
- We assess how well banks comply with financial protection laws and regulations, and meet the credit needs of their communities.
- We provide educational outreach on consumer laws and regulations to District institutions and consumers.