The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York City agreed, saying such information is not automatically exempt from requests under the act.
The Federal Reserve had argued that if it identified banks that drew emergency loans, it could cause a run on those institutions, undermine the loan programs, and potentially hurt the economy. The Fed acts as a lender of last resort for banks that cannot get money from private sources.
The Fed said in a statement Monday that it would "fully comply" with the court's decision and was preparing to make the information available. The Fed noted that some of the information relating to emergency lending was already released Dec. 1 under last year's Dodd-Frank financial-overhaul law.
The Obama administration had asked the high court not to hear the appeal. But The Clearing House Association, which represents some of the nation's largest banks, wanted the high court to review the decision. The Clearing House Association said it was "disappointed" that its petitions were rejected.
In the Fox case, the appeals court ruled that the documents should be available for review by news organizations and the public.
In the Bloomberg case, the court rejected the Fed's argument that identifying the banks and providing other information would harm them and discourage other distressed banks from seeking the Fed's help. The court said the disclosure requirements under FOIA are set by Congress, not the court.
Justice Elena Kagan did not take part in this decision because she worked on this case while serving as solicitor general.