The 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks that comprise the Federal Reserve System in the United States are not owned by a single entity, private individuals or by theÂ government. These banks, which areÂ authorized by the United States Congress to formulate economicÂ policies,Â operate independently within the administration.
The Federal Reserve Banks are structured the same way as private corporations, wherein stocks are sold to member banks. However, these shares are prohibited by law to be sold, traded or used to secure financing. Entitlement to federal stocks is merely a condition for being a member of the Reserve Banks. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System maintains that the banks are not operated to generate profits.