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.
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.
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.