The Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) System's combined assets and advances to its members declined in the first quarter, based on unaudited preliminary results announced on Friday by its finance office. Total assets of the 12 regional FHLB system banks declined 5% to $966bn at March 31. Advances, which are secured loans to members, fell 9% to $572bn to represented 59% of total assets. Advances fell "due to the high deposit level at member financial institutions, low loan demand by FHLB members and continued availability of more attractively priced sources of funding and/or sources of liquidity with lower collateral requirements," the government-sponsored agency said in a statement.