The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is one of 12 Reserve Banks that together with the Board of Governors in Washington DC, comprise the Federal Reserve System. As the US central bank, the Fed formulates and implements monetary policy, provides payment services to commercial banks and the US government, and supervises banking institutions.
Led by president and CEO Loretta J. Mester, the Cleveland Fed operates from its headquarters in downtown Cleveland and from two branches in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. It employs some 950 people and serves the Fourth Federal Reserve District, which comprises Ohio, western Pennsylvania, the northern panhandle of West Virginia, and eastern Kentucky.
The Cleveland Fed began operating in 1914 in a temporary location, and opened its current headquarters in 1923. Dr. Mester assumed the helm of the organization in June 2014.
Contrary to common misperception, the Cleveland Fed’s employees are not government employees. The Federal Reserve is an independent entity within government. It is not owned by anyone and is not a private, profit-making institution.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is not a typical bank. It doesn’t accept deposits from everyday Americans. Rather, it is a bankers’ bank.
Banks within the Fourth Federal Reserve District have accounts with us. They send us their cash, for which we credit their accounts. We process that cash, destroying that which we deem unfit (learn more about this function under Cash Services). We also issue them money when they order it from us.
It’s not that we print the money, although that’s a (very) common misconception. Instead, we order money from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (a part of the US Department of the Treasury) and issue it to the banking system.
Many know that the Federal Reserve deals in cash and formulates monetary policy. Fewer know that our Bank regulates and supervises banks, seeks to protect consumers, and more — much of which we share with you below.
Take a dollar from your wallet, and look at the top text on its front side. See where it says “Federal Reserve Note”?
Given that US dollars are our currency, Federal Reserve offices are where unfit currency is destroyed, and from which new and recirculated currency is distributed. The Cleveland Fed operates two cash offices, one in Cleveland and the other in Cincinnati.
As a bankers’ bank, the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland accepts deposits of cash from and credits and debits accounts accordingly for banks in and around the Fourth Federal Reserve District, which includes Ohio, western Pennsylvania, the northern panhandle of West Virginia, and eastern Kentucky.
If our high-speed machines find that used currency is too worn, they shred it. Used currency that is deemed fit for recirculation is rebundled and redistributed. New currency ordered from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing is also distributed to banks.
Currency that our cash services team members suspect is counterfeit is sent to the United States Secret Service.
Community Relations & Education Outreach
“The privilege of service through education and engagement.”
The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s Community Relations & Education department, home to the Learning Center and Money Museum, is your resource for teaching and learning about money, the economy, the Federal Reserve, critical thinking, and financial decision making.
Protect Consumers & Improve Communities
Certain laws exist to protect consumers in their dealings with banks, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is one body responsible for making sure banks are complying with them.
One such law is the Community Reinvestment Act, which seeks to ensure that banks are helping to meet the credit needs of the communities in which they operate, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. (The intent is to ensure that you have access to credit where you live.)
The Cleveland Fed also is involved in educating the public on fair lending, and fields consumer complaints against financial institutions. (Consumers have the right to file such complaints when they believe an institution has acted unfairly or deceptively, or has violated a law or regulation.)
The Bank’s fair-lending work extends beyond monitoring adherence to laws, too. To ensure the availability of credit and banking services in low- and moderate-income communities and to promote economic and workforce development across the region it serves, the Cleveland Fed identifies best practices, conducts applied research, and provides training and technical assistance to community-based organizations, financial institutions, government agencies, elected officials, and others.
The Bank also convenes events on key issues impacting the region such as affordable housing, workforce development, and access to credit for individuals and small businesses.
Extend Credit to Financial Institutions
The Cleveland Fed extends credit to financial institutions, and must manage the way it does so.
One way it does this is via the Discount Window through which the Cleveland Fed lends. Why the name? When banks borrow from the Federal Reserve, they must pledge collateral they have on their books, such as Treasury securities and loans. To protect the Federal Reserve from losses, our Bank trims, or discounts, the assigned value of those pledged securities before it will lend to a bank. Hence the term, Discount Window.
Basically, these are loans to financial institutions. Banks tend to borrow from the Fed when our loans are cheaper than those offered elsewhere.
The credit extended to financial institutions isn’t limited to the Discount Window funds. The Cleveland Fed also extends credit to banks to enable the payments system to work.
Managing the Bank’s credit risk also involves watching the Fourth Federal Reserve District’s institutions’ account activity (remember, as a bankers’ bank, banks have accounts with the Cleveland Fed) and monitoring for overdrafts, among other things.
Additionally, the Cleveland Fed watches the depository institutions themselves, monitoring their financial health.
Build & Maintain Government Payment System
Need to make a payment on a student loan? Want to reserve a campsite at a national park?
The website people and businesses use to do these and more — Pay.gov — is a US Department of the Treasury site built by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. We exclusively handle collections for the Treasury.
Pay.gov is used to make secure electronic payments to a large number of federal government agencies, and its capabilities are changing with the technologies we use. The Cleveland Fed now is exploring mobile capabilities to make paying the government even more convenient.
The Pay.gov site — operational for more than 10 years — currently processes about 120 million transactions per year from individuals, organizations, and businesses. It’s available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to customers.
Want to know what this Federal Reserve Bank is studying, and what its experts have to say on current developments? Read our research.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland conducts research on a wide variety of matters — among them monetary policy, banking supervision, and community development — with the aim of delivering answers and advancing conversations.
The research can and does impact the region the Bank serves, the national economy, and the banking industry in revealing answers regarding inflation and unemployment, proper bank regulation and supervision, and more.
Arguably the most important role our research plays is informing our president and CEO, Loretta J. Mester, in her contributions to the Federal Open Market Committee, which meets and votes on key decisions about interest rates and the nation’s money supply. In other words, we deliver independent research to those formulating the monetary policy of the United States.
Collect & Analyze Data
The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland collects data from hundreds of financial institutions, including depository institutions, bank holding companies, and other financial and non-financial entities. Some data are collected weekly. Other data are collected monthly, quarterly, or annually. The information gathered is used to assess financial institution conditions and also to glean insights into how the economy and financial system are doing.
The Cleveland Fed has collected data for decades. Some data are used to monitor the condition of the financial institutions we supervise as well as to identify trends that provide insights into the stability of the financial system. Other data are used to support our work to formulate and implement monetary policy.
Some of the information we collect is used exclusively by the Federal Reserve, and other information is used by other federal banking agencies. In addition, much of the data we collect, including reports on bank performance, are made available to the public.
Oversee Financial Institutions
In working to supervise and regulate financial institutions, the Cleveland Fed is working to keep people’s money safe. Indeed, that’s largely its job as part of the nation’s central bank. (There are 12 Reserve Banks across the country, plus the Board of Governors, the hub of the Federal Reserve.)
Banks can be chartered at the state or national level, and there are a number of regulatory agencies charged with monitoring them. For its part, the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland supervises some 270 financial institutions headquartered in the Fourth Federal Reserve District, which covers Ohio, western Pennsylvania, the northern panhandle of West Virginia, and eastern Kentucky. Included in that number are commercial banks, savings and loan holding companies, and bank holding companies, or companies that own banks.
The focus is ensuring that financial institutions operate in a safe and sound manner, provide access to credit fairly and equitably, and comply with laws, regulations, and mandates.
What happens when the Cleveland Fed finds evidence of activities to the contrary, or finds it is concerned with the financial performance of an institution?
It may take certain actions, such as issuing a memorandum of understanding, an informal, yet severe, action. In such memoranda, a member bank’s board of directors agrees to address any deficiencies the Cleveland Fed identifies.
So-called “formal” actions, which are administered not by the Cleveland Fed but by the Board of Governors (our central bank’s hub), include cease-and-desist orders and civil monetary penalties. Cease-and-desist orders are used to effect immediate correction of issues.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, part of the nation’s central bank, has supported many opportunities for professional growth during our nearly 100 year history. Our vision is to be a premier Federal Reserve Bank recognized for operational excellence and expertise in payments systems, banking supervision, and economic issues that are important to our region and nation.
For 16 years in a row, we've been named “One of Northeast Ohio’s Best Places to Work” by NorthCoast 99. This prestigious award honors organizations with outstanding employment practices, including compensation, benefits, training, recruitment, retention, community services, and employee communications. We invite you to learn how you can make a difference at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is an equal opportunity employer. It is the Bank’s policy to provide equal employment opportunity for all employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information or sexual orientation.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland combines industry-leading benefits and competitive salaries into a total compensation package. Notable elements include:
Business Casual Dress Code
Most departments have a "business casual" dress code.
An on-site cafeteria is available for meals, snacks and beverages.
Employees are eligible to receive cash awards and other forms of recognition for outstanding performance.
Employee Assistance Program
The employee assistance program provides assistance to employees with everyday issues such as child care and elder care referrals, legal matters, taxes and individual counseling.
Employee Referral Bonuses
In certain instances, employees receive bonuses for recommending an acquaintance outside the Bank to fill vacant positions.
Family Medical Leave
Eligible employees are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Our fitness center is open 24/7 and provides weight-training and cardiovascular equipment, aerobics and general fitness classes as well as access to a personal trainer.
With management approval, some employees take advantage of flexible work schedules.
Group Legal Plan
The optional group legal plan provides assistance with issues such as real estate closings, wills and tax issues.
The Bank provides medical, prescription drug, dental and vision benefits. Employees can choose from a variety of health and dental plans, depending on their personal needs. All of our medical plans include prescription drug coverage.
Health and Dependent Care Reimbursement Accounts
These reimbursement accounts allow employees to set aside pre-tax income to help pay for health care not covered by a medical plan or for dependent care for a child or elderly adult.
The Bank provides life insurance benefits as well as an optional group universal life insurance plan. Employees can participate in an optional accident insurance benefit plan. The Bank also offers long-term care insurance, which allows employees to elect insurance coverage to assist with providing custodial care for themselves or an immediate family member.
The Bank's retirement plan is fully paid by the Bank and provides 100 percent vesting in the pension benefit after five years of service. Benefits can commence as early as age 55. At retirement, eligible employees receive a benefit based on a percentage of their final average pay and years of service.
We provide internally equitable and externally competitive salaries.
The Federal Reserve Club sponsors special events for employees and provides discounts on certain items such as tickets to movies, amusement parks, and sporting events.
Thrift Plan (401K) and Pension
The Thrift Plan, or 401K, allows employees to contribute a percentage of their salary on either a pre-tax or after-tax basis through payroll deductions. The Bank matches employee contributions dollar-for-dollar up to six percent of the base pay. The Bank also adds an automatic separate contribution of one percent to each employee’s account. The Bank’s pension, or retirement plan, provides income for you when you retire, as early as age 55 with at least five years of service. Free financial planning is also available through Ayco Financial Services.
Regular, full-time and part-time employees are eligible for vacation time based on job status (exempt or non-exempt) and years of service. We also offer 10 Bank holidays per year: New Year's Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Employees can set aside pre-tax dollars to help pay for commuting expenses. This includes public transportation, parking and van-pooling expenses.
Because continual learning is a priority, employees may be eligible to receive tuition assistance for specific degree programs.
With management approval, some employees are able to work from home.
Interesting place to work and great people also. There is lots of room to move around.
None that I can think of.
I applied online. The process took 4+ months. I interviewed at Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland (Cleveland, OH) in April 2015.
Horrible process. Typical government politics. Fill out forms online and wait for months. Went in for an in person interview after a phone screen and did not hear back for 2.5 months. Received random call and invited back for 3rd interview. They pretended to not know I had been in prior and that I had just applied. Very fearful this operation is only out to hire people who fit certain diversity criteria.