Skip top navigation

The Federal Reserve System works to promote the effective operation of the U.S. economy and, more generally, to serve the public interest. The specific duties of the Fed have changed over time as banking and economics have evolved.

<p>The First National Bank Building First National Bank Building, also known as the Old Monroe County Savings Bank Building (Image&nbsp;<a>LC-DIG-highsm-52790</a> via Photographs in the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)</p>
Supervision and Regulation

The Federal Reserve promotes the safety and soundness of individual financial institutions and monitors their impact on the financial system as a whole.

<p>The Panic - Run on the Fourth National Bank, No. 20 Nassau Street [New York City, 1873]. (Image&nbsp;LC-USZ6-952 via<a href=""> Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division</a>)<br></p>
Financial Stability

The Federal Reserve monitors financial system risks and engages at home and abroad to help ensure the system supports a healthy economy for U.S. households, communities, and businesses.

<p>Federal Reserve Financial Services logo, 1992 (via <a href="">FRASER</a>)</p>
Payment Systems

The Federal Reserve works to promote a safe, efficient, and accessible system for U.S. dollar transactions.

Bernie Berns hands paper through the Credit window on the first floor of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, 1967 (via <a href="">FRASER</a>)
Monetary Policy

The Federal Reserve sets U.S. monetary policy to promote maximum employment and stable prices in the U.S. economy.

"Consumer Handbook to Credit Protection Laws" booklet issued by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, January 1979 (via <a href="">FRASER</a>)
Consumers and Communities

The Federal Reserve advances supervision, community reinvestment, and research to improve understanding of the impacts of financial services policies and practices on consumers and communities.