The Work Horse

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Approximately 38 percent of the 8,039 commercial banks in the United States are members of the Federal Reserve System. National banks must be members and state-chartered banks may join if they meet certain requirements. The member banks are stockholders of the Reserve Bank in their District and as such, are required to hold 3 percent of their capital as stock in their Reserve Banks.

In addition to the approximately 3,000 member banks, about 17,000 other depository institutions provide the American people checkable deposits and other banking services. These depository institutions include nonmember commercial banks, savings banks, savings and loan associations, and credit unions. Although not formally part of the Federal Reserve System, these institutions are subject to System regulations, including reserve requirements, and have access to System payments services.

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