Skip top navigation

The Fed's Functions

Since 1939, the Federal Reserve has periodically published an overview of its work and responsibilities. The links below to the 10th edition (2016) provide an overview of the functions, objectives, and organization of the Federal Reserve System.

The Structure and Organization of the System

The basics of the Federal Reserve's organization – which includes the Board of Governors, the Federal Open Market Committee, and the twelve Reserve Banks – and its relationship with member banks, other depository institutions, and the public

System Functions and Objectives

A brief overview of the Federal Reserve’s traditional functions and its other vital activities in service of the federal government and consumer protection

Monetary Policy and Economic Activity

More about the Federal Open Market Committee, the Federal Reserve’s legislative mandate for monetary policy, and how the Fed manages inflation expectations and promotes financial stability

Financial Supervision and Regulation

More about the Federal Reserve's supervisory responsibilities over state member banks, bank and financial holding companies, and other institutions, and how the Fed works with other regulators

Payments Services for Financial Institutions

More about the check processing and electronic payments services that the Federal Reserve provides to the nation's financial system

Promoting Financial System Stability

More about how the Federal Reserve helps to ensure the financial system supports a healthy economy for U.S. households, communities, and businesses.

Consumer Protection and Education

More about the Federal Reserve's enforcement of consumer protection laws and promotion of impartial access to credit, sustainable community development, and economic education