The State Owns Native American Owned Banks

Triston Martin

Dec 05, 2023

Most Native American-owned banks fall within the MDI category, the least common. Although there are presently more Native American-owned credit unions than any other racial or ethnic group combined, these institutions are still far lower than the total number of financial institutions owned by any other group.

To meet the requirements of their local communities, several Native American tribes and tribal members have established their banks and credit unions. So these institutions provide a lifeline for Native American areas that have been historically under-banked.

What Is a Minority Depositories Institution?

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) now ensures 4,951 commercial banks and savings organizations in the United States. To be considered as a minority owner, ownership must be held by U.S. citizens or permanent legal residents." 3 Expanding on these criteria, the Federal Reserve (Fed) included women-owned financial institutions in 2021.

What Makes Native American Owned Banks Important?

Good banks offer essential financial services such as checking and savings accounts, loans for personal and commercial reasons, and mortgages for real estate acquisitions. Credit cards are also available. For Native Americans who live on or near tribal reservations, receiving the amenities that most people take for granted can be difficult.

University of Arizona's Native Nations Institute found that the average distance from the center of a reservation to its nearest bank and ATM was around 12.2 miles and 6.9 miles. Banks and ATMs are 88.41 and 61.63 miles apart in the most severe circumstances. As a result, 63 percent of tribal territory people do not have broadband access, making online banking an ineffective alternative.

Financial Institutions Owned and Operated by Native Americans

More than half of the Native American-owned banks are located in Oklahoma. The following is a comprehensive list of all U.S. banks and credit unions owned by members of the Native American community.

The F&M Bank

Nearly $500 million in assets make Edmond, Oklahoma, the largest Native American bank in the United States. Financial services provided by the bank include commercial, agricultural, and home equity loans.

Located in Oklahoma City's northern suburbs, it is a full-service bank with eight locations. Individuals and families can use the bank's services and small businesses and commercial real estate investors. Agribusiness loans are available with this locally-owned bank.

All Nations Bank

In 1901, all nations Bank was founded in Calumet, Oklahoma, as the First National Bank. The bank has provided more than a century of service to Calumet and Canadian County. It changed its name to all nations Bank on August 16, 2004, after becoming a state-chartered bank for the first time in its history.

The Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma owns All Nations Bank. On May 19, 2011, all nations Bank established a branch in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Customers in Canadian and Pottawatomie Counties are still being served by all nations Bank.

Bank of Cherokee County

In 1907, the year of Oklahoma's unification from Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory, the Bank of Cherokee County was established. The founders of this Cherokee-owned bank were a group of important members of the Cherokee Nation.

Because they are the only bank operating out of Hulbert (Oklahoma), the Bank of Cherokee County regards its obligations as going much beyond "normal" banking operations. In contrast to "regular" banks, the Bank of Cherokee County invests 95% of its deposits back into the county in which it is located.

Bay Bank

Because of this commitment to its clients, Bay Bank has a long and distinguished history. The Oneida Nation and a group of local businesspeople established Bay Bank in 1995, intending to establish a financial institution in the Greater Green Bay area that would not be subject to the mergers and consolidations that had become typical among the region's bigger financial institutions.

Having raised its assets to $65 million by the year 2000, the Oneida Nation took over as the sole owner of Bay Bank at that point. The Oneida Nation's purchase of Bay Bank did not change the bank's operations, policies, or locally centered mission; nonetheless, the bank's ability to deliver additional federally financed programs to aid tribe people directly was increased.

Eagle Bank

As a "Community Bank," the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes own Eagle Bank on behalf of the approximately 8,000 people of their tribe. A Native American Tribe owns Eagle Bank, making it one of just a few banks controlled by a holding corporation formed under Section 17 of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934.

Eagle Bank is open to everyone and aims to provide affordable financial services to all Lake County citizens when it comes to banking. Over almost two decades, the Flathead Tribes invested heavily in economic development on the Flathead Reservation, and Eagle Bank is a natural outgrowth of that effort.

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