The 12 Federal Home Loan Banks are the only way most of community financial institutions can access the global capital markets. Structured as cooperatives, their customers are also their owners, fostering conservative management and a long-term view of financial performance.

Governance and Regulation

Every Federal Home Loan Bank has its own elected board of directors, comprised of members of that Bank and independent (non-member) directors. Statutorily, two-fifths of the directors must be independent, and at least two of those directors must be public interest directors with at least four years of experience in representing community or consumer interests. The boards of directors represent many areas of expertise, including banking, accounting, housing and community development. Directors serve four-year terms and may not serve more than three consecutive terms.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is the regulator charged with overseeing the Federal Home Loan Banks, created by Congress in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. FHFA is led by the FHFA Director and advised by a Federal Housing Oversight Board, composed of the secretaries of Treasury and HUD, the Chair of the SEC and the FHFA Director. There is a Deputy Director for Federal Home Loan Bank regulation, while the Federal Home Loan Bank mission oversight is charged to the Deputy Director of Housing Mission and Goals.

No taxpayer dollars are used in the operation or regulation of the Federal Home Loan Banks. Regulated by the federal government, the Federal Home Loan Banks have a line of credit with the U.S. Treasury. There is no explicit federal guarantee of Federal Home Loan Bank debt.

The Basics

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