What is the Federal Reserve System?

The central bank of the United States created by Congress, consisting of a seven member Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., 12 regional 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 Federal Reserve Board apply to nonmember depository institutions as well as member banks. Both classes of institutions have access to Federal Reserve discount borrowing privileges and Federal Reserve services on an equal basis.