The Federal Reserve System was created on December 23, 1913, when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act into law. The system is composed of a central, independent governmental agency--the Board of Governors--in Washington, D.C., and 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks, located in major cities throughout the nation.

Today, the Federal Reserve sets the nation's monetary policy, supervises and regulates banking institutions, maintains the stability of the financial system, and provides financial services to depository institutions, the U.S. government, and foreign official institutions.

Click here to view our Federal Reserve History site

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Looking Back

The Fed's centennial year begins on December 23, 2013, the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Federal Reserve Act. Click here to view our historical photo gallery.

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Last Update: April 21, 2017