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The FHLBank System Completes First Merger in 80-Year History

several-banksThe Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines (FHLB Des Moines) announced today in a press release that it will merge with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle (FHLB Seattle). More details concerning this new combination will be included in a related Form 8-K that FHLB Des Moines will file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

"The paperwork has been formally approved and signed and the merger of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle is now official,” said Melvin L. Watt, FHFA director. “As the regulator of the Federal Home Loan Bank System, FHFA views this voluntary merger as consistent with safety and soundness and with the mission of the System to support home mortgage lending and community investment.”

FHLB Des Moines is one of 11 regional Banks in the FHLBank System, the release stated. It was established by congress in 1932 to support mortgage lending.  The FHLBank system funds approximately 7,400 federally insured depository institutions of all sizes and types. Its membership includes commercial banks, credit unions, thrifts, insurance companies, and community development financial institutions from every U.S. state and territory.

This voluntary merger will constitute the first in the 80-year history of the FHLBank system, the cooperative said. The merger closed on May 31, 2015, and today is the first day that the two Banks will operate as one.

“We are pleased to have finalized this merger with overwhelming support from our members,” said Dick Swanson, FHLB Des Moines CEO. “As a cooperative, we strive to make decisions that are in the best long-term interest of our members. We believe that the continuing Bank will be stronger by virtue of its larger and more geographically diverse membership base and can achieve operational efficiencies that will help maintain our sound financial condition over the long run.”

FHLB Des Moines will now be the largest bank in the system in terms of membership and geography, the company said. It will also serves nearly 1,500 financial institutions in 13 states and three U.S. Pacific territories. Headquarters are to remain in Des Moines with a western regional office in Seattle.

“The management teams, staffs and boards at both Banks worked closely together over the last six months on a merger integration plan designed to help facilitate the smoothest possible transition for our members,” said Mike Wilson, FHLB Des Moines president. “We are confident that we are well-positioned to maintain the same high level of customer service and support that our customers are accustomed to receiving and fulfill our mission of providing funding and liquidity to meet the housing, economic development and business needs of communities across our district.”

About Author: Xhevrije West

Xhevrije West is a writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas. She has worked for a number of publications including The Syracuse New Times, Dallas Flow Magazine, and Bellwethr Magazine. She completed her Bachelors at Alcorn State University and went on to complete her Masters at Syracuse University.

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