As we approach year end, I would like to thank you for your business with FHLBank Atlanta in 2015. We have continued to focus on putting your needs as shareholders first and to deliver products that help fuel your institution's profitable growth.
We saw several positive developments in the U.S. economy this year, from steady GDP growth to stronger housing markets to the lowest unemployment levels since April 2008. But we also faced continued uncertainty in the interest-rate environment and ongoing pressures on net interest margins. Within this context, the Bank delivered products in 2015 to help your institution strengthen net interest margins and compete more effectively for lending opportunities in your communities.
In our core advances business, demand remained strong for fixed-rate funding as well as for structured products such as the Forward Starting and Callable Fixed Rate Credit Floater advances. These advances provide the balance sheet flexibility many of you need to manage funding costs and protect margins in today’s environment. In 2015, we introduced two additional products offered through the Mortgage Partnership Finance® (MPF) Program to support your mortgage lending. Now with MPF Xtra®, MPF Direct, and MPF Government MBS, you can improve your secondary market access and profitability for conforming, jumbo, and government-backed mortgages.
To help ensure you have the collateral capacity to take advantage of our products, we continued to expand collateral eligibility and offer educational resources to help you maximize your borrowing power. Notably, we began accepting municipal securities as eligible collateral during 2015 – an important addition to the collateral portfolio that was driven by your feedback. We also offered numerous webinars, workshops, and one-on-one training sessions during the year to help you put untapped sources of collateral to work and minimize exceptions to eligibility within your reported portfolios.
While our mission is to deliver products that help you meet the credit needs of your communities, we recognize that you have capital invested in FHLBank Atlanta and that a consistent dividend is an important source of value for your institution. The Bank paid a strong dividend the first three quarters of 2015. Both the second and third quarter dividends exceeded average three month LIBOR by 4.5 percent. We strive to achieve a level of financial performance and balance sheet strength that enables us to deliver a healthy dividend and a competitive return on your invested capital.
FHLBank Atlanta is your cooperative and it exists solely to help your institution succeed. I encourage you to use our products and services to your maximum benefit and to reach out to your relationship manager regularly to discuss opportunities available to your institution. I thank you again for your partnership and look forward to a mutually successful 2016.
President and Chief Executive Officer
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta is not a registered investment advisor. Nothing herein is an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or derivative products. You should consult your own legal, financial, and accounting advisors before entering into any transaction. Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta's dividend payment and rate are not guaranteed and may fluctuate.