A system of banks that were created in 1932 to improve the supply of funds to local lenders, thus making more funds available to finance home mortgages. Today, there are just under 8,000 member banks of the FHLB system, compared with the 12 that existed in 1932. These banks make up a cooperative partnership system that continues to help finance the United States’ urban and rural housing and community development needs. The partnership supports community- based financial institutions and facilitates their access to credit. They are privately capitalized, government-sponsored enterprises.
The Federal Home Loan Finance Board ensures that the federal home loan banks operate safely, carry out their housing and community development finance mission, and remain adequately capitalized so they are able to raise funds in the capital markets. The five-member finance board is an independent, regulatory agency of the U.S. executive branch. The president appoints four board members for seven-year terms. The fifth member is the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or the secretary’s designee. The Finance Board is supported solely by assessments from the banks and no government funds are used to fund its operations.