Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)
independent regulatory agency in the executive branch charged with overseeing the Federal Home Loan Bank system, a nationwide system of banks, savings associations, credit unions, and insurance companies that make long-term home mortgage loans. The FHFA's mission is to ensure that federal home loan banks remain adequately capitalized and operate in a safe and sound manner. It prescribes rules and conditions under which the banks may provide loans, regulates the banks' financial management and investment activities, supervises federally mandated community investment and affordable housing programs, conducts performance reviews and financial audits, appoints bank directors, approves payment of dividends, and generally ensures that the banks carry out their housing finance mission. In the secondary mortgage market the FHFA deals with the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae), the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), all of which are government or government-sponsored agencies specializing in mortgage-backed securities (MBSs).