December 2021 - With the end of the year approaching, I want to take a moment to thank you once again for your partnership with FHLBank Atlanta. Challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic remained with us throughout 2021, but I am proud to say that despite these challenges, we remained focused on serving you and helping you move your business forward. We were fortunate enough to meet with you face-to-face in many instances, and we continued with virtual roundtables, webinars, and individual collaborative efforts. We will continue engaging with you in the coming year and look forward to helping you get the most out of your membership in the cooperative.
The record deposit growth experienced by the financial services industry in 2020 carried over into 2021, keeping depository institutions flush with liquidity. As expected, the Federal Reserve kept interest rates low and continued its asset purchase programs throughout much of the year, only recently beginning the process of tapering. During its December meeting, the Fed announced it would double the pace of tapering and forecasted up to three interest rate hikes next year.
Many other factors attributable to the pandemic also had an influence on the economic environment in 2021, including supply chain disruptions, inflation, government stimulus programs, uncertainty regarding COVID-19 variants, and a significant shift to employee remote work. In light of these circumstances, the Bank met your funding requirements, worked with you to execute your asset/liability management strategies, and helped you serve your communities’ housing and economic development needs.
In 2021, we completed several important initiatives related to our service offerings to you and continued to work with you on issues impacting the broader industry. In the spring, we launched a new technology system to support our Affordable Housing Program General Fund and followed in late summer with the launch of a new, modernized FHLBAccess®. Both of these systems are designed to deliver an elevated, streamlined experience to you and make your interactions with the Bank more efficient.
We also continued to move forward with the industry shift away from the London Interbank Offered Rate as a benchmark index. The FHLBanks remain leaders in the transition to the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) and we have continued to support your needs by offering resources designed to help you navigate the transition, as well as new products indexed to SOFR.
Finally, in 2021, we explored new ways to partner with you to meet the housing and economic development needs of your communities. Recently we hosted our second event on heirs’ property where various organizations working to address heirs’ property issues connected with potential funders, including a number of our member institutions. This is an important economic issue in many southeastern communities and we stand ready to work with you and other organizations to find creative solutions.
The year ahead will bring challenges and opportunities of its own and we look forward to meeting with you in person or virtually to help ensure you have the tools you need to continue advancing your business and build a strong community.
I am grateful to our amazing team at the Bank who have shown strong resilience over the past year, and I am grateful to you for your partnership.
Thank you for continuing to put your trust in FHLBank Atlanta.
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.