Every day for 77 years, the Federal Home Loan Bank System has worked to improve the lives of millions of Americans. As one of the oldest and most highly regarded GSEs, the FHLBank System makes it possible for lending institutions across the country to help families realize the dream of home ownership, stimulate the creation of affordable housing, and improve the local business environment.
Created by Congress in 1932, the System's public policy mission is to support residential mortgage lending and related community investment through its member financial institutions. The System fulfills its mission by providing members with access to reliable, economical funding and technical assistance, and special affordable housing programs.
This is a System that works. Today, there are over 8,000 FHLBank System members, including commercial banks, thrifts, credit unions and insurance companies. Each member is a shareholder in one of the 12 regional Federal Home Loan Banks; each regional Bank is an individual corporate entity, which must meet strict management and capitalization criteria befitting its GSE status. Federal oversight, in conjunction with normal bank regulation and shareholder vigilance, assures that the 12 regional Banks will remain conservatively managed and well capitalized.
While the Federal Home Loan Bank System's mission reflects a public purpose, all 12 regional Banks are privately capitalized and do not receive any taxpayer assistance.
The FHLBank System plays a critical role in the continuous flow of funds to the residential mortgage market. These funds originate with the sale of debt securities, called consolidated obligations, in the capital markets. The sales provide funds that are loaned to member financial institutions, which in turn provide mortgage credit to homebuyers.