Skip top navigation

The Federal Reserve System is the central bank of the United States. As the nation's central bank, it performs five key functions in the public interest to promote the health of the U.S. economy and the stability of the U.S. financial system.


<p>1914 map of the Federal Reserve System and District borders, from the "Decision of the&nbsp;Reserve Bank Organization&nbsp;Committee"&nbsp;</p>
The Fed's Structure

The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 called for a central banking system with a central governing Board and a decentralized operating structure of multiple Reserve Banks. This hybrid structure is still in place today.

Category: Purposes and Functions

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.