Membership in the FHLBank System is available to insured depositories and certain other financial institutions. As of December 31, 2019, total membership was 6,739, comprised of 4,020 commercial banks, 662 savings institutions, 1,526 credit unions, 471 insurance companies, and 60 community development financial institutions (CDFIs). Each member is a shareholder in one of the 11 regional FHLBanks, which are privately capitalized, separate corporate entities operating in a cooperative structure.

FHLBank loan products and services are highly valued, particularly by a large percentage of current members that qualify as "Community Financial Institutions" as defined by the FHLBank Act. For these institutions, there is often no other source of funds that is both cost-effective and reliable. At any given time, a substantial majority of the membership is using FHLBank loans to make a difference in their communities.

"In our opinion, the FHLB System's critical public policy role to U.S. housing finance was clearly demonstrated in the U.S. mortgage crisis of 2008, during which advances (loans to client-owner members) outstanding peaked at $1 trillion. Additionally, during the first quarter of 2020, uncertainty about the COVID-19 outbreak led to disruption in the financial markets, resulting in increased liquidity needs at member financial institutions. FHLBanks continued to support their members through this uncertainty, and we expect they will continue to do so."
Standard & Poor's, September 2020