The Federal Reserve Act was passed by Congress and approved December 23, 1913. The Federal Reserve banks were opened for business on November 16, 1914. The continental United States, excluding Alaska, was divided into twelve Federal Reserve districts, in each of which there is one Federal Reserve bank. The banks are located at Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Richmond, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Dallas and San Francisco. The Act also provided that these banks could establish branches with the approval of the Federal Reserve Board whenever it was necessary. The Federal Reserve Board may permit or require any Federal Reserve bank to establish branch banks within the Federal Reserve district in which it is located or within the district of any Federal Reserve bank which may have been suspended. Such branches, subject to such rules and regulations as the Federal Reserve Board may prescribe, shall be operated under the supervision of a board of directors to consist of not more than seven nor less than three directors, of whom a majority of one shall be appointed by the Federal Reserve bank of the district, and the remaining directors by the Federal Reserve Board. Directors of branch banks shall hold office during the pleasure of the Federal Reserve Board. In accordance with this provision and to meet the business demands of the various districts, most of the Federal Reserve banks have established one or more branches in their respective districts.