What Is the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City?

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City is one of 12 reserve banks in the Federal Reserve System (FRS). Informally referred to as the Kansas City Fed, it is responsible for the tenth district, which covers Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Wyoming, a well as 43 counties in western Missouri and 14 counties in northern New Mexico. The Kansas City Fed is located in Kansas City, Mo, and has branches in Denver, Oklahoma City and Omaha.

Key Takeaways

  • The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City is one of twelve reserve banks in the Federal Reserve System. 
  • It serves the tenth district, covering much of America's heartland.
  • The Kansas City Fed is headquartered in Kansas City, Mo, and has branch offices in Denver, Oklahoma City and Omaha.

Understanding the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City implements within its geographical coverage area the general functions of the Federal Reserve System: conducting monetary policy, promoting stability of the financial system, maintaining a safe and efficient payments system, regulating and supervising banks, and protecting consumers and the community.

The Kansas City Fed conducts research on economic developments in its territory, providing input (along with the other regional Feds) into national policy. It also regulates and supervises banks in its region, a critical function for financial system stability.

Additionally, the Kansas City Fed supports the payments system through actions such as monitoring regional demand for currency and coin, distributing new currency and replacing worn currency, and detecting counterfeit currency. Each of the regional Feds prints currency. Bank notes printed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City are denoted by the mark "J10", representing the tenth district (J is also the tenth letter of the alphabet).

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City is the second-largest reserve bank in terms of geographical territory, behind the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Esther L. George has served as president and chief executive officer of the Kansas City Fed since October 2011. She is ninth president of the Kansas City Fed.

In 2021, George is slated to become an alternate voting member on the monetary policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).

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Image by Sabrina Jiang © Investopedia 2020 

Organization and Characteristics

The Kansas City Fed is unique among the regional Feds in having a high concentration of community banks—i.e. banks which borrow from and lend to the communities where they operate rather than being part of a multi-bank holding company—within its geographic coverage area.

Due to the location of the tenth district in the heavily agricultural Great Plains region, agricultural lending and credit markets are particularly important to the Kansas City Fed. It publishes a quarterly Survey of Agricultural Credit Conditions for the tenth district, as well as a national Agricultural Finance Databook.