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Back in 1932, Congress established the Federal Home Loan Banks to fill a dire need for a stable source of funds for residential mortgages. The Great Depression had undermined the existing banking system, and with it, Americans who had recently purchased — or wanted to purchase — homes.

A Vital Resource for Community Lenders
America's banking system may have more checks and balances today, but the 11 regional Federal Home Loan Banks established by the Federal Home Loan Bank Act remain just as vital to the nation's community lenders.

Located in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Des Moines, Indianapolis, New York, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Topeka, the 11 Federal Home Loan Banks help their member financial institutions meet the diverse housing-finance and economic-development needs of their communities.

Des Moines San Francisco Topeka Dallas Chicago Indianapolis Cincinnati Pittsburg New York Boston Atlanta Des Moines New York

The Federal Home Loan Banks are government-sponsored enterprises, federally chartered but privately capitalized and independently managed.

Each Federal Home Loan Bank has its own elected board of directors, comprised of member and independent (non-member) directors. Each Federal Home Loan Bank is capitalized by the capital-stock investments of its members and its retained earnings. Members purchase stock in proportion to their borrowings from the Federal Home Loan Bank, their holdings of mortgages and mortgage securities, and their assets.

The Federal Home Loan Banks meet all their costs from earnings, including the costs of raising funds jointly in the capital markets. In addition, they are assessed for the full costs of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. No tax dollars are involved in the operation of the Federal Home Loan Bank System. The Federal Home Loan Banks raise funds by issuing debt instruments (bonds and notes) in the capital markets. Because these instruments have very strong credit ratings, the Federal Home Loan Banks can borrow at very favorable rates and terms. However, Federal Home Loan Bank debt is not guaranteed by, nor is it the obligation of, the U.S. government.

The Federal Home Loan Banks contribute the greater of 10 percent of their net income or $100 million toward the Affordable Housing Program, which awards grants and rate-subsidized loans for housing serving very low- to moderate-income families and individuals.

The Federal Home Loan Banks provide members with access to economical credit products and an attractive and safe stock investment.

Lenders eligible for Federal Home Loan Bank membership include savings banks, savings and loan associations, cooperative banks, commercial banks, credit unions, and insurance companies that are active in housing finance. The 11 Federal Home Loan Banks have more than 7,500 member financial institutions.

The mission of the Federal Home Loan Banks is to support members' residential-mortgage and economic-development lending activities.

Funds provided by the Federal Home Loan Banks guarantee a stable source of support for mortgages and community lending. Without the Federal Home Loan Banks, most depository institutions would not have access to medium- and long-term sources of funding.

By supporting community-based financial institutions, the Federal Home Loan Banks help to strengthen communities. The cooperatives directly benefit consumers by helping to ensure competition in the housing-finance market.




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