The Value of a Cooperative
March 2013 - Cooperatives come in many forms – utilities, farms, insurance companies, and financial services providers. While they may serve different purposes, cooperatives share a set of commons tenets. A cooperative is owned and controlled by the people or institutions that use it, it provides services to its members at the lowest costs, and it shares profits or reinvests profits to improve services. Cooperatives also enable members to reap the benefits of the joint venture – enjoying lower risk and higher value – while maintaining their independence.
These basic principles shape the structure and purpose of FHLBank Atlanta. As a cooperative, the Bank exists solely to serve you – our shareholders – and your business needs, and because of this, we continually ask ourselves what can we do to make the cooperative more valuable for you?
The cooperative structure gives the Bank flexibility to adapt and provide shareholders with value during times of economic change. In the years after the financial crisis, financial institutions were under tremendous strain. Most were in survival mode, focused on building capital, disposing of distressed assets, and controlling costs in a time of depressed demand. During the financial crisis and its aftermath, the Bank remained strong and continued to serve its shareholders’ funding and liquidity needs.
The economy has been slowly but steadily recovering. Unemployment is now below eight percent. RealtyTrac reported that foreclosure filings hit a seven-year low in December, and prices for single-family homes climbed in nearly 88 percent of U.S. cities in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the National Association of Realtors. Today, the Bank’s shareholders are beginning to shift from surviving to thriving. They are healthier and seeking growth opportunities in their markets. FHLBank Atlanta is here as a trusted partner to help your institution capitalize on these opportunities.
The Bank offers products and expertise that can help you secure new business, fund mortgages originated for sale or to be held in portfolio, and manage risk. I encourage you to look deep into the Bank’s full product line – beyond our core advance products – to find solutions that can help you grow your business or increase efficiencies in your operations.
For example, with our Letters of Credit product, you can leverage the Bank’s high credit rating to participate in bond financing deals, attract public unit deposits, and invest in local economic development projects. The Bank’s Securities Safekeeping and Wire Transfer services can help you manage key parts of your operations at a potentially lower cost. Additionally, with Safekeeping you can seamlessly pledge securities held at the Bank as collateral for advances, enabling you to manage your institution’s borrowing activity more efficiently. Finally, our affordable housing and community investment products can help you reach untapped markets, originate mortgages, meet regulatory requirements, and build your reputation and profile in your community. These products and services were developed with your needs in mind and are here for your exclusive use and benefit.
As your partner in this cooperative, we also want to hear from you on how FHLBank Atlanta can be more valuable to your business. If you have feedback or ideas, I encourage you to reach out to your state’s FHLBank Atlanta board member, your relationship manager, or any member of the Bank’s executive management team.
You can trust FHLBank Atlanta to be your partner and an invaluable resource to help you achieve your strategic objectives because, as a shareholder, you are an owner of the cooperative. Our strategic focus is simple: to help your institution succeed. Because when you succeed, FHLBank Atlanta succeeds. We look forward to continuing to build and strengthen our partnership with you in 2013.
President and Chief Executive Officer
© 2013 Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, All Rights Reserved. 1475 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309
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.