What Is the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond?

The Federal Reserve bank of Richmond is part of the decentralized central banking system known as the Federal Reserve System (FRS). The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond is located in Richmond, Virginia and serves the Fifth Federal District.

Key Takeaways

  • The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco comprises one of twelve reserve banks in the Federal Reserve System. 
  • The San Francisco Fed serves the Fifth Federal Reserve District, which covers the states of Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina; 49 counties constituting most of West Virginia; and the District of Columbia.
  • Headquartered in Richmond VA, with branch offices in  Baltimore, MD, and Charlotte, NC.

Understanding the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond is part of the decentralized banking system of the United States government. Together, this system works to carry out the Federal Reserve’s daily operations. The bank is governed by a board of directors and supervised by the board of governors in Washington D.C. There are 12 regional reserve banks located throughout the United States. These banks help conduct monetary policy and work to keep the U.S. economy stable and strong. Each of these banks has a region that it is responsible for.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, in collaboration with the presidents of the other banks in the reserve and the governors of the board, meet every six weeks to set interest rates. This gathering is called the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).

Thomas I. Barkin took office on January 1, 2018, as the eighth president and chief executive officer of the Fifth District, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. In 2020, he serves as an alternate voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee

All notes printed by the Richmond branch of the Federal Reserve are marked with the E5 insignia. This indicates that they were printed in the fifth district. Richmond’s branch of the Federal Reserve is responsible for providing oversight and services to all branches located in the fifth district. The bank consists of more than 2,700 employees. 

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Image by Sabrina Jiang © Investopedia 2020

The Richmond Fed and Monetary Policy

Monetary policy is the policy created by a central bank or regulatory committee. In the United States this bank is known as the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve creates monetary policy which influences interest rates, the sale of government bonds, and banking guidelines throughout the country. There are two forms of monetary policy. The expansionary policy is designated to grow the economy and increase money supply. The second type of monetary policy is known as contractionary and is used to slow the rate of growth and stem inflation by decreasing money supply.

An example of a monetary policy would be the amount of money that the Federal Reserve requires banks to hold, whether in the bank’s vault or in one of the Federal Reserve Bank vaults. This amount is calculated based off a percentage of deposits that a regional bank receives. The reserve bank requires these funds be available to maintain a depository’s good standing in the event of a mass run on the bank, such as what happened during the Great Depression.

The Federal Reserve is said to have two prime mandates when it comes to creating monetary policy; maintaining maximum employment throughout the country and stabilizing pricing. While many countries have their own centralized banks in charge of monetary policy, all policies created will differ based on the long-term goals of the nation and their specific market circumstances.