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Fed Backgrounder

Map of U.S. broken into the 12 Federal Reserve districtsThe Federal Reserve System was created by an act of Congress in 1913. The responsibilities of the Federal Reserve include influencing the supply of money and credit, regulating and supervising financial institutions, serving as a banking and fiscal agent for the U.S. government, and supplying payments services to the public through depository institutions like banks, credit unions, savings and loans, etc. Payments services include issuing, transferring and redeeming U.S. government securities, processing and clearing checks, transferring funds, and supervising bank holding companies and Fed member banks throughout the Federal Reserve districts.

The Federal Reserve’s structure is composed of the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., and 12 regional Reserve banks. A major System component is the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).

Board of Governors

The Board of Governors consists of seven members who are appointed to 14-year terms by the President of the United States and confirmed by the Senate.

The Board conducts monetary policy, has general oversight of the operations of the regional Reserve banks and their branches and the activities of various banking organizations, has broad responsibility for the U.S. payments system, and issues regulations under most federal consumer credit protection laws.

Regional Reserve Banks

The Federal Reserve System has 12 districts, each served by an independently chartered regional Reserve bank. These banks are in St. Louis, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Kansas City, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Richmond and San Francisco. There are also 25 branches and offices within the 12 districts.

Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC)

The FOMC, the System’s principle monetary policymaking body, comprises the seven members of the Board of Governors, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and four other Reserve bank presidents on a rotating basis. All 12 Reserve bank presidents participate in FOMC policy deliberations whether or not they are voting members. The FOMC meets eight times a year.
View recent remarks from FOMC participants on "FOMC Speak" »

The Eighth District and The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Thumbnail image of Eighth Federal Reserve districtThe Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, with branches in Little Rock, Ark., Louisville, Ky., and Memphis, Tenn., serves the Eighth Federal Reserve District. This includes all of Arkansas, eastern Missouri, western Kentucky, western Tennessee, southern Illinois, southern Indiana and northern Mississippi.

The headquarters office is located in downtown St. Louis at the intersection of Fourth, St. Charles and Broadway. Eighth District branches are:

  • Total Eighth District Employees: 1,106
    St. Louis: 1,020
  • The St. Louis Fed currently supervises 129 state member banks and oversees 521 bank and financial holding companies and 16 savings and loan holding companies.
  • The Research website is a renowned source of online economic data. Among the highlights is FRED® (Federal Reserve Economic Data), a database with more than 425,000 U.S. and international economic time series from 79 sources.
  • Through economic education programs, the Bank reaches thousands of elementary, secondary and post-secondary educators and their students.
  • The St. Louis Fed also oversees all financial services the Fed System provides to the U.S. Treasury—services totaling about $550 million annually.