Who can be a member of the Federal Reserve System?
Any financially sound, well managed state-chartered bank may become a member of the Federal Reserve System. The 12 regional Reserve banks supervise state member banks as part of the Federal Reserve System's mandate to assure strength and stability in the nation's domestic markets and banking system. Reserve bank supervision is carried out in partnership with the state regulator, assuring a consistent and unified regulatory environment. Regional and community banking organizations constitute the largest number of banking organizations supervised by the Reserve banks.
The Membership Application
The membership process includes the filing of a membership application. However, before the application is submitted, we analyze the bank's condition. To the extent possible, we rely on recent examinations to gain an understanding of the bank and its operations. This review is always supplemented by an on-site visit. Depending on the bank's profile and its examination cycle, our on-site presence may take the form of a targeted or full-scope examination.
Factors Considered in a Membership Application
Membership requires the purchase of Federal Reserve Bank stock equal to 3 percent of the member bank's capital stock and surplus accounts. This stock earns an annual dividend of 6 percent.
We encourage all banks that are considering membership to contact the Reserve Bank early in their deliberations. In this way, banks can make a more informed decision on the benefits of membership, and any potential hurdles can be identified early in the process.