Federal Reserve Banks’ assets hit $4.2 trillion in 2019, central bank reports; transfers to CFPB totaled $519 million

Combined assets for the 12 Federal Reserve Banks grew $116 billion to a total of $4.2 trillion in the year ending Dec. 31, 2019, with total earnings at $55.5 billion, down $7.6 million from the previous year, the Federal Reserve Board reported Monday.

The Reserve Banks’ 2019 operating expenses of $7.4 billion included assessments of $2.2 billion for board expenses, currency costs, and the operations of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), it said. The Fed transferred $519 million to the CFPB to fund bureau operations in 2019, up from the $337 million transferred in 2018, the statements show.

The Fed announced the figures as it released the 2019 combined annual audited financial statements for the Federal Reserve Banks, as well as statements for the 12 individual Federal Reserve Banks and the Board of Governors. The Fed reported receiving unqualified opinions on the financial statements and on the board’s and each bank’s internal controls over financial reporting from an independent auditor.

Highlights from the Fed Banks’ 2019 financials include:

  • The Reserve Banks provided for remittances to the U.S. Treasury of $54.9 billion in 2019.
  • Interest income on securities acquired through open market operations totaled $102.7 billion, a decrease of $9.5 billion from the previous year.
  • Interest expense on depository institutions’ reserve balances during the year was $34.9 billion, a decrease of $3.5 billion from the previous year.
  • Interest expense on securities sold under agreements to repurchase was $6.0 billion, an increase of $1.5 billion from the previous year.

The Fed said total Reserve Bank assets were composed primarily of $4.1 trillion of securities under agreements to resell, U.S. Treasury securities, and federal agency and government-sponsored enterprise mortgage-backed securities acquired through open market operations.

Federal Reserve System publishes annual financial statements