The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, also known as the Richmond Fed, has a long-standing reputation and history in the Richmond area and is one of the hallmarks and financial attractions of this city. 

Jim Strader, a spokesman for the Richmond Fed, took some time to answer questions about the Richmond Fed’s background and identity.

Can you give a brief history of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond?
The Richmond Fed was organized in May 1914, following the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act in December 1913 (and after the completion of a process to select host cities for Reserve Banks).

Richmond was one of 37 cities that sought to be a Federal Reserve Bank location, and supporters of the idea pointed to Richmond's geographic location, its importance as a commercial and financial center, its transportation and communications facilities, as well as Virginia's leading regional role in the banking business as key reasons why Richmond was ideal.

How is the Fifth District structured?
The Bank's headquarters has had three locations in downtown Richmond, starting in offices near the federal courts in 1914. A headquarters building was constructed on the city's historic Capitol Square, and the Bank offices were moved there in 1922. The current headquarters building, overlooking the James River, opened in 1978.

What other locations has the Richmond Fed inhabited?
The Richmond Fed has had offices in Baltimore since 1918 and in Charlotte, N.C., since 1927. The Bank formerly had operations in Charleston, W.Va.; Columbia, S.C.; and Culpeper, Va.

How is The Richmond Fed governed?
Since its founding, the Richmond Fed has had seven chief executives, starting with George Seay, who led the effort to bring the Bank to Richmond and served as governor from 1914 until 1936. Following Seay, the presidents of the Richmond Fed were Hugh Leach, Edward A. Wayne, Aubrey N. Heflin, Robert P. Black and J. Alfred Broaddus Jr.

The Bank's current president is Jeffrey M. Lacker, who was appointed in 2004.

What is one thing that most people probably do not know about the Richmond Fed?
The Fed has received increased attention in the past few years, and it has become increasingly clear that many people do not know about or completely understand the Federal Reserve.

As a result, the Fed has taken steps to try to help people understand more about who we are and what we do. Part of that is to emphasize the work of our businesses in ensuring a stable and sound economy, the dedication of our people to serving the American public and our district, and our efforts to make our communities better places to live.

As part of the nation’s central bank -- and working with the Federal Reserve System -- the Richmond Fed helps formulate and implement monetary policy, supervises and regulates financial institutions, and helps maintain the nation’s payment systems.

What are common misconceptions about the Richmond Fed?  How is the Richmond Fed working to dispel these?
To help dispel the misconceptions people may have about the Federal Reserve and our work, we have produced a series of videos, called “MythUnderstanding,” that are on our YouTube channel.

The first three videos in the series, “The Fed Not Controlled by Wall Street,” “The Fed Doesn’t Print Money,” and “The Fed is Audited,” talk about who we are accountable to, how we are audited and our role in the money supply.

For more information on the Richmond Fed, please visit its website.