Overview

This report covers the calendar-year 2019 operations and activities of the Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States, categorized in the five key functional areas:

  • Conducting monetary policy and monitoring economic developments. Section 2 provides adapted versions of the Board's semiannual Monetary Policy Reports to Congress. Highlights in 2019 include

    • detailed assessments of both economic developments and Federal Reserve monetary policy activities
    • a review of the Federal Reserve's strategic framework for monetary policy
  • Promoting financial system stability. Section 3 reviews Board and System activities and research undertaken to foster a resilient and stable financial system. Highlights in 2019 include

    • publication of semiannual Financial Stability Reports and continued quarterly assessments of vulnerabilities relevant for financial stability
    • interpretive guidance finalized by the Financial Stability Oversight Council regarding nonbank financial company designations
  • Supervising and regulating financial institutions and their activities. Section 4 summarizes the Board's efforts related to financial institution oversight and examinations, supervisory policymaking, and regulatory activities and enforcement. Highlights in 2019 include

    • implementation of all of the major provisions of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act
    • publication of the semiannual Supervision and Regulation Report
  • Fostering payment and settlement system safety and efficiency. Section 5 describes actions by the Board and Reserve Banks to promote the effectiveness of the nation's payment systems, discusses initiatives to promote payment system safety, and provides data on Reserve Bank services and income. Highlights in 2019 include

    • plans to develop the FedNow Service to support faster payments in the United States
    • research, technical experimentation, and policy analysis on stablecoins, central bank digital currencies, and the role of BigTech firms in payments
  • Promoting consumer protection and community development. Section 6 provides information on the Board's efforts to promote a fair and transparent financial services market for consumers, protect consumer rights, and ensure that Board policies and research take consumer and community perspectives into account. Highlights in 2019 include

    • community development listening sessions and roundtables held to hear perspectives on such topics as the state of rural banking and modernization of the Community Reinvestment Act
    • oversight and enforcement of consumer protection laws and regulations, including fair lending and unfair and deceptive acts or practices
Federal Reserve Response to COVID-19

Since this report covers only Federal Reserve 2019 operations and activities, it does not include information on our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more detail on our response to the pandemic, visit the Board's website at https://www.federalreserve.gov/covid-19.htm.

About the Federal Reserve System

The Federal Reserve was created by an act of Congress on December 23, 1913, to provide the nation with a safer, more flexible, and more stable monetary and financial system. In establishing the Federal Reserve System, the United States was divided geographically into 12 Districts, each with a separately incorporated Reserve Bank (see figure 1).

For more information about the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve System, visit the Board's website at https://www.federalreserve.gov/aboutthefed/default.htm. An online version of this annual report is available at https://www.federalreserve.gov/publications/annual-report/default.htm.

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Last Update: July 16, 2020