NAFSA Applauds OCC’s Focus on Banking Successes and Opportunities in Native Communities

Posted by on Aug 30, 2013 in Press Release | 0 comments

WASHINGTON (August 30, 2013) – Following the publication of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC) August 2013 Community Development Investments e-zine, entitled “Extending Credit in Indian Country,” The Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA) applauded the agency’s focus on showing the banking industry both the opportunities that exist and the successes that have been realized through investments on Native American reservations.

The entire issue is devoted to highlighting some of the best practices, challenges, and treatment of investments, service, and credit extensions made by national banks and federal savings associations in Indian country. As Native American reservations badly need capital to counter the lingering problems caused by unemployment and poverty, the publication presents several of the real opportunities for banks to contribute to needed changes while making a profit. The publication can be read by clicking here.

“We welcome every chance to show the wealth of opportunities that can be had through investments on Native American reservations and appreciate the OCC standing with Indian country to show the world that these opportunities exist,” said Barry Brandon, Executive Director of NAFSA. “For too long, there has been a lack of investment in our communities, in part because banks have not understood tribes and have been blind to the investment opportunities that exist on reservations. Coupled with the difficulty we face in developing our own investment opportunities, this presents serious challenges for economic development on our reservations.”

“Today, tribes are at long last starting to take control of their economic future through tribal online lending enterprises,” Brandon continued. “These enterprises are creating significant revenues for tribes’ governmental budgets and we are happy to partner with banks who work with us to process ACH payments. We look forward to a continued future partnering with banks in this capacity, in addition to furthering important investments in our communities in the ways outlined today by the OCC.”

Community Developments Investments is an e-zine that captures the creative ideas of bankers and community development practitioners investing in community development. The publication also identifies common features that can be applied to other investments, presents investment opportunities in the OCC Districts, and provides links to related resources, including the OCC’s public welfare investment authority.


The Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA) formed in 2012 to advocate for Native American sovereign rights and enable tribes to offer responsible online lending products. Through the protection of consumer rights and sovereign immunity, NAFSA provides vital services to tribally operated lenders serving the under-banked with better short term financial services, furthering economic development opportunities in Indian Country.

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