FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Definition

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FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM (The Fed) is the central bank of the United States created by Congress, consisting of a seven-member Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks and depository institutions that are subject to reserve requirements. All national banks are members; state-chartered banks may elect to become members and state members are supervised by the Board of Governors and the Reserve Banks. Reserve requirements established by the Fed apply to nonmember depository institutions as well as member banks. Both classes of institutions share equal access to Federal Reserve discount borrowing privileges and Federal Reserve services.

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