The federal reserve agent must be a man of tested banking experience. As indicated by his other title mentioned above, he acts as chairman of the board of directors of the reserve bank and maintains the office of the board on the premises of the reserve bank. He makes regular reports to the Federal Reserve Board, and acts as its official representative for the performance of its functions. His compensation is fixed by the Federal Reserve Board but paid by the reserve bank. Subject to the approval of the Federal Reserve Board he may appoint assistants, who must likewise be persons of tested banking experience, and who assist him and act in his name and stead during his absence or disability. The assistants are put under such bonds as the Federal Reserve Board may deem necessary for the protection of the United States, and receive a compensation fixed by the Federal Reserve Board but paid by the reserve bank. The minimum bonds fixed by the Federal Reserve Board are $100,000 for the federal reserve agents and $50,000 for the assistant federal reserve agents, but the board of directors of the reserve bank may require higher bonds if they deem it desirable.
One of the most important duties of a federal reserve agent is to issue federal reserve notes to the reserve banks, holding gold and commercial paper against the issue of such notes and handling a portion of the gold settlement fund. These moneys, of course, reach into millions. The duties of the official may be described by enumerating the four departments among which the federal reserve agent of the New York bank has divided his functions, as follows:
1. The member bank relations department, which seeks to promote better relations between the reserve bank and the member bank, and handles the state bank membership affairs.
2. The note issues department, which issues the federal reserve notes to the reserve bank, and cares for the collateral to secure these notes, and has the custody of the commercial paper of other federal reserve banks and federal reserve agents.
3. The bank examinations department, which examines the member banks and has custody of the examination reports, handles applications for membership, for capital stock, for permission to accept bills drawn upon it up to 100 per cent of its capital stock and surplus, and for permission to do fiduciary business, and which is also on the lookout for violations of the Clayton Act by the banks.
4. The Statistics Department, Which Reports To The Federal
Reserve Board on the business and banking conditions of the district, and prepares statistical information.