Federal Home Loan Bank System: An Overview of Changes and Current Issues Affecting the System

GAO-05-489T Published: Apr 13, 2005. Publicly Released: Apr 13, 2005.
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The FHLBank System (FHLBank System or System) is a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) that consists of 12 Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLBanks) and is cooperatively owned by member financial institutions, typically commercial banks and thrifts. The primary mission of the FHLBank System is to promote housing and community development generally by making loans, also known as advances, to member financial institutions. To minimize the potential for significant financial problems, the Federal Housing Finance Board (FHFB) regulates the FHLBank System's safety and soundness. Over time, a number of developments have affected the System's safety and soundness and have created pressures on its traditional cooperative structure. To assist the committee in understanding the important issues surrounding the FHLBank System and its regulation, this testimony provides information on the development of the System; two legislative changes and FHFB rulemaking that led to changes in membership, asset composition, and capital structure; and important challenges and questions the FHLBank System currently faces.

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