DEFINITION of 'Board of Governors'

A board of governors is a several-member group that oversees or manages the running of an institution. The U.S. Postal Service, the BBC, the World Bank, and numerous colleges and universities all have boards of governors.

In the financial world, the best known board of governors is that of the Federal Reserve. It is a federal government agency with seven members, appointed by the president and confirmed by the senate, along with 1,800 in staff.

BREAKING DOWN 'Board of Governors'

The Federal Reserve board analyzes domestic and international economic developments, supervises and regulates the operations of the Federal Reserve Banks, has responsibility for Americas payments system, and oversees and administers most consumer credit protection laws. The board of governors has seven of the 12 seats on the Federal Open Market Committee, which determines U.S. monetary policy. The board alone has authority over changes in reserve requirements, and it must approve any change in the discount rate initiated by a Federal Reserve Bank.

Members of the board frequently testify before congressional committees on the economy, monetary policy, banking supervision and regulation, consumer credit protection, and financial markets.

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