Logo: 100 Years, Federal Reserve System
Why We Started
What We Do
Our Impact
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We Supervise and Regulate Banking Institutions

Image of Consumers Waiting in Line for a Bank Teller

The Fed supervises and regulates state-member banks, bank holding companies and other banking institutions to ensure they operate soundly and treat their customers fairly. We have supervisory authority for about one-third of the nation’s 8,000 banks along with many foreign banks operating in the U.S. The Fed promotes the safety and soundness of the banking system by examining the financial condition of these banks and evaluating their compliance with important laws and regulations. Our Board of Governors has responsibility for writing rules and regulations to provide banks standards for doing business, and the 12 Reserve Banks evaluate banks’ compliance with these rules and regulations.

We also have responsibilities for interpreting and implementing laws that protect consumers. Fed examiners evaluate banks’ compliance with consumer protection laws and regulations to ensure that consumers receive clear and comprehensive information and fair treatment from their banks. Under the Community Reinvestment Act, examiners also evaluate how well a bank is meeting the credit needs of its entire community, including the needs of historically underserved households and neighborhoods.