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Banking Supervision

The Cleveland Fed supervises more than 260 financial institutions headquartered in the Fourth Federal Reserve District to ensure they operate in a safe and sound manner, provide fair access to credit, and comply with laws, regulations, and mandates. Supervised financial institutions include commercial banks, savings and loan companies, and bank holding companies. View a list of Fourth District state member banks and view their corresponding examination procedures.

The Federal Reserve System regulates and supervises financial institutions to ensure they operate safely. Examiners do not run or manage financial institutions. Rather, they work to understand and evaluate financial institutions’ operations, their major risks, how well they  manage these risks, whether they have sufficient financial and managerial resources, and how they comply with laws and regulations. When a financial institution does not manage its risks well or have sufficient financial or other resources, examiners require the financial institution to take corrective action.

Banking supervision at the federal level is carried out by three agencies: the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). State banking agencies also supervise certain banks. Each agency supervises banks and other financial institutions subject to the agency's authority. Learn more about understanding Federal Reserve supervision.

How do Federal Reserve examiners do their jobs?

The primary way examiners do their job is through financial institution examinations and inspections. An examination is a review and evaluation of a bank’s activities, risk-management practices, financial condition, and other aspects of their operations such as compliance with consumer regulations. Bank examinations result in assessments that are reported to the bank in writing. Examiners decide what to examine at banks, primarily based on the bank’s known and potential risks. Some financial institutions may also be subjected to continuous monitoring, depending upon their size or complexity.

Learn more about bank examinations.

What happens when the Cleveland Fed finds something concerning with the financial performance of an institution?

Sometimes a “memorandum of understanding” is issued. This is an informal but severe action for which the member bank’s board of directors agrees to address the deficiencies identified by making the specific changes outlined in the memorandum as soon as possible. The Board of Governors can also administer formal actions, including cease-and-desist orders and civil monetary penalties.

Can a financial institution appeal a supervisory determination?

Financial institutions may contact the Ombuds regarding the appeals process for material supervisory determinations.

On April 1, 2020, the Federal Reserve Board updated its policy statement governing the internal appeals process for material supervisory determinations and revised the Board’s Ombuds policy. This guidance applies to institutions, including those with $10 billion or less in total consolidated assets, that receive a material supervisory determination by the Federal Reserve. 

Learn more about this process and how to appeal a material supervisory determination of your financial institution in SR 20-28 / CA 20-14 Supervision and Regulation Letters.


Banking Supervision, Credit Risk, and Statistics

Cleveland Fed employees in Banking Supervision, Credit Risk, and Statistics (SCS) assist the Bank in supervising and promoting the safety and soundness of banks and other financial institutions in our region.

Banking Supervision

As part of the nation's central bank, the Cleveland Fed supervises financial institutions in the Cleveland Fed's region. Our employees in Banking Supervision promote a safe and sound banking system, foster financial market stability, and support compliance with laws and regulations, including those relating to consumer protection.

Credit Risk

Credit Risk employees provide liquidity to the banking system, work to avoid losses that undermine the integrity of payment systems or the credibility of the Federal Reserve System, and facilitate the implementation of monetary policy.

Statistics and Analysis

Teams in Statistics and Analysis support monetary policymaking, supervision and regulation, and fiscal agency responsibilities through collecting, analyzing, and ensuring the quality of financial and banking structure information.