The federal reserve banks are primarily bankers' banks, for their customers and owners are the member banks. But they are clothed with powers enabling them also to perform certain services for non-member banks and trust companies, and to operate in the open market in certain ways. They also serve the government in a fiscal capacity. Their wide powers are expected to invest them with a high sense of their responsibilities for the public welfare.
Among the chief powers of a federal reserve bank are those enumerated below:
2. To receive from other federal reserve banks, solely for purposes of exchange or collection, deposits of cash, cash items, and maturing notes and bills payable within its district.
3. To receive from any non-member bank or trust company, solely for the purposes of exchange or collection, deposits of cash and cash items and maturing bills and notes, provided the non-member maintains with the reserve bank a balance sufficient to offset the items in transit held for its account by the reserve bank.
5. To make advances to its members on their promissory notes, for periods not exceeding 15 days, at rates fixed by the bank, subject to review and determination by the board, provided such notes are secured by paper eligible for discount or by United States securities.
6. To Issue Federal Reserve Notes.
7. To Establish Branches, Agencies, Or Correspondents.
8. To perform the following open-market operations: to deal in gold at home or abroad, to make loans thereon, to exchange federal reserve notes for gold or gold certificates, and to contract for loans of gold.
9. To Buy And Sell At Home Or Abroad, Securities Of The
United States, and bills, notes, revenue bonds, and warrants with maturity from date of purchase not exceeding six months, issued in anticipation of the payment of taxes by the individual states or political divisions or municipalities of the United States.
10. To purchase from members and sell, with or without its indorsement, bills of exchange arising out of commercial transactions.
11. To establish from time to time rates of discount to be charged by it for each class of paper, subject to review and determination by the Federal Reserve Board.
12. To establish for exchange purposes accounts with other federal reserve banks and agencies, correspondents, branches, and accounts in foreign countries; to buy and sell through these agencies commercial paper; and to open and maintain accounts for such agencies or correspondents.