Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell was found to have owned bond types that were being purchased by the central bank during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This revelation comes only a week after Powell himself announced a sweeping review of Fed ethics after regional bank heads were found to be trading millions in securities that raised suspicions about conflicts of interest guiding decision-making.

In a review by CNBC on Friday, Powell was revealed to have held between $1.25 million and $2.5 million of municipal bonds in family trusts. While these bonds are held by a family trust and were purchased before 2019, Powell held them through 2020 when the Fed bought $21.3 billion in municipals from state governments. This included one from the state of Illinois where the Powell family trust purchased a bond in 2016. 

Illinois borrowed $3.2 billion from the Fed's municipals' program during the pandemic, according to the Brookings Institute.

CNBC notes that Powell’s ownership of these assets do not appear to be in violation of the Fed’s code of conduct. According to its own ethics rules, officials "should be careful to avoid any dealings or other conduct that might convey even an appearance of conflict between their personal interests, the interests of the system, and the public interest.”

This revelation arrives as other Federal Reserve officials are coming under fire for their financial activities.

Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan was reported by the Wall Street Journal last week to have made multiple stock trades worth more than $1 million in 2020, including on Apple, Amazon, Boeing and Delta Airlines.

After the report, Kaplan pledged to sell his individual stocks and move the proceeds into either index funds or savings accounts but defends his activities as within compliance of Fed ethics rules.

Boston’s Fed President Eric Rosengren also came under scrutiny when he was reported to own stakes in four separate real estate investment trusts and disclosed multiple purchases and sales in multiple security types. Like Kaplan, he defended his activities as within Fed ethics guidelines.

Rosengren has warned against an overheating housing market in the past and has been an advocate for tapering off asset purchases to cool it down in recent weeks.

After the WSJ made its report, Chairman Powell announced an ethics review of Fed policies on financial activities. The review will work towards "identifying ways to further tighten those rules and standards" and make changes "where appropriate."

Local Fed presidents are not required to disclose their financial trades to the Office of Government Ethics, unlike members of the Washington-based board. Annual disclosures on their members are prepared annually and released only on a voluntary basis. Separate ethics officials at the local banks certify these disclosures and they are also shared with the main branch in D.C.