Annual Report 2019 | Connecting Communities
In 1913, our nation’s central bank, the Federal Reserve, was created. And in what I consider to be a brilliant move, this centralized system was designed to be intentionally decentralized, with 12 Federal Reserve banks spread throughout the country.
That decision, made more than a century ago, ensured Reserve banks stayed closely connected with their communities—and it’s why I serve as the chairperson of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis today.
Here, in the Federal Reserve’s Eighth District, we describe this relationship as staying in touch with Main Street. This means we’re in constant dialogue with bankers, community and business leaders, and the people throughout those communities.
And while the St. Louis Fed is known around the globe for its economic research and data services, the work of our Community Development team truly happens on Main Street.
Through our community development work, we connect lenders and entrepreneurial organizations that are creating change in low- and moderate-income communities across our seven-state District. Our staff also supports the economic growth objectives of the Federal Reserve System by promoting community and economic development, as well as fair and impartial access to credit in underserved markets.
And beyond the Bank’s headquarters in St. Louis, our branch offices in Little Rock, Ark., Louisville, Ky., and Memphis, Tenn., are dedicated to promoting economic development, community development finance, and community stabilization and revitalization.
Our branches—which for decades served primarily as operations centers for check and cash processing—are now mostly focused on community outreach, a change the St. Louis Fed led shortly after the turn of this century.
In this year’s annual report, we share how we’re carrying this long legacy of public service forward through programs like Investment Connection and the Delta Communities initiative.
And, just as it was 100 years ago, we’re doing this by starting on Main Street and putting our communities first.
Chair of the Board of Directors
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis