American Banker, April 4, 2022, Federal Home Loan banks’ purpose called into question as advances drop
As banks rack up record levels of deposits, the Federal Home Loan banks’ core business of providing liquidity to member institutions is drying up, leading some critics to question the institutions’ long-term viability.
The lifeblood of the Home Loan banks — advances to banks, credit unions and insurance companies — plummeted 20% last year to $350 billion, its lowest level in 15 years. The Home Loan banks say the decline is part of the normal ebb and flow of the market.
But the dramatic drop in advances over many years has renewed calls by critics and a handful of insiders for the creation of an independent advisory committee to scrutinize the 11 Home Loan banks’ purpose and relevance.