The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta is part of the central bank of the United States. The Federal Reserve System—the Fed, as it is often called—consists of twelve Reserve Banks located around the country and the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C.
The Atlanta Fed territory covers the Sixth Federal Reserve District, which includes Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, and portions of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee.
The Atlanta Fed has branch offices in Birmingham, Jacksonville, Miami, Nashville, and New Orleans.
The Atlanta Fed and the other Reserve Banks play an important part in all three of the Fed's functions: monetary policy, bank supervision and regulation, and the operation of a nationwide payment system.
In its monetary policy role, the Bank seeks to keep prices stable and economic growth at its maximum sustainable rate. The Bank president plays a role in deciding the direction of interest rates and meets with the other Bank presidents and the seven governors at the Board every six weeks at the Federal Open Market Committee meeting. The Bank's Board of Directors—drawn from the business community, banks, and labor and consumer organizations—makes recommendations every two weeks on the level of the discount rate, which is the rate at which the Bank lends to commercial banks.
The Atlanta Fed's Supervision and Regulation staff seek to promote the safety and soundness of the banking system, foster stability in financial markets, ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, and encourage banking institutions to responsibly meet the financial needs of their communities.
Through its six branch offices, the Atlanta Fed provides cash to banks, savings and loans, and other depository institutions; transfers money electronically through the FedWire® funds transfer system and automated clearinghouse; and clears millions of checks every day.
The Bank's research and expertise are shared with the public in various ways—in publications, speeches, participation in public policy organizations like task forces on local infrastructure and commissions on state tax reforms, and sponsorship of conferences on current policy issues. Through these various educational outreach activities the Bank reflects its grassroots ties to the Southeast. These ties, in turn, help make the Fed—a decentralized central bank and public policy institution—the successful organization it has been over the past ninety years.