Federal Home Loan Bank Volumes Show Economy and Housing Markets Continue To Improve

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| Source: Council of Federal Home Loan Banks

WASHINGTON, July 30, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today's preliminary unaudited second quarter 2013 combined operating highlights for the Federal Home Loan Banks show their core business of lending to local U.S. lenders is growing, according to John von Seggern, president and CEO of the Council of Federal Home Loan Banks.

The Federal Home Loan Banks are 12 regional wholesale banks that are privately owned by the members and receive no congressional appropriations. They raise money by selling bonds to institutional investors worldwide on a scale that places them second to the U.S. Treasury in issuing debt. They funnel those funds to approximately 7,600 member financial institutions in the form of secured loans which they call "advances."

"The increase in advance volumes in the second quarter is an indication that the U.S. economy and the housing markets continue to improve," von Seggern said.

A rise in Federal Home Loan Bank advance business means their members are lending more to consumers and businesses for the housing and economic development needs of local communities.

"We can report that America's Federal Home Loan Banks are strong and performing the mission set for them by Congress," von Seggern said.

The mission of the Federal Home Loan Banks is to support residential mortgage lending and community growth in all areas of the country in all economic conditions. Their cooperatively structured membership is comprised of lenders of all sizes and many types, including commercial banks, thrifts, credit unions, insurance companies and community development financial institutions.

During the nation's financial crisis, they stayed strong and took no government money. "In fact, as other sources of liquidity dried up, the Federal Home Loan Banks maintained and even increased their lending to local lenders," von Seggern said.

"The Federal Home Loan Banks enable local lenders of all sizes to extend affordable credit to their customers, thereby strengthening the communities they serve," von Seggern added. "As the U.S. economy continues its recovery, this is especially important to small and medium-sized lenders that otherwise do not have direct access to the lower cost funds available in the capital markets."

Through the Federal Home Loan Banks, local lenders can invest in their communities by making hometown loans to families, farms and businesses and by helping to create jobs, support growth and provide for more affordable rental housing and homeownership opportunities.

For full copy of today's news release on the preliminary unaudited second quarter 2013 combined operating highlights, issued by the Federal Home Loan Banks Office of Finance, visit: www.fhlb-of.com

David Jeffers

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