Every day for decades, the Federal Home Loan Bank System has worked to improve the lives of millions of Americans. Through all economic cycles, the FHLBank System supports the efforts of our member lending institutions 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 role in housing finance 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 approximately 7,100 FHLBank System members, including commercial banks, thrifts, credit unions, and insurance companies. Each member is a shareholder in one of the regional Federal Home Loan Banks; each regional Bank is an individual corporate entity, which must meet strict management and capitalization criteria befitting its status as a government-sponsored enterprise. Federal oversight, in conjunction with normal bank regulation and shareholder vigilance, assures that each of the regional Banks remains conservatively managed and well capitalized.
While the Federal Home Loan Bank System mandate reflects a public purpose, each FHLBank is privately capitalized and does 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 proceeds of these sales are then loaned to member financial institutions, which in turn provide mortgage credit to homebuyers.