Courtesy Lumbee Guaranty Bank
Lumbee Guaranty Bank, Pembroke, North Carolina

Indian Banks Small in Assets, Small in Number

Mark Fogarty

The number of American Indian-owned banks remains less than 20, with peer group data showing them to be small, community-focused financial institutions.

According to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, as of March 31 of this year 19 tribally-owned banks held a total of some $2.5 billion in assets.

That would give the average Native American-controlled bank about $130 million in assets, according to the most recent snapshots on minority-owned institutions by the FFIEC and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Of the 19 banks, nine had less than $100 million in assets and 10 had more than $100 million. The banks had a low 0.14 percent of assets in provision for loan and lease losses and were well capitalized, at an average of 10.21 percent of average assets.

The group as a whole showed some nice growth in the March 31 numbers as well, increasing total assets by 6.89 percent, tier one capital by 9.75 percent, and loans and leases by 6.69 percent.

Oklahoma, a state with more than 10 percent Native population, had more than half of the Native-owned banks, at 11. While Oklahoma Natives were fairly well covered, the other states with 10 percent (or close) Native population—Alaska, New Mexico and South Dakota—were notable for having no Indian-owned banks.

The largest Indian-owned bank, F&M Bank, Edmond, Oklahoma, held $367 million in assets as of June 30. F&M Bank is controlled by the Anderson family, who are members of the Citizens Potawatomi tribe.

F&M earned $2 million in the first quarter of this year, according to call reports it filed with the federal government.

Lumbee Guaranty Bank, Pembroke, North Carolina, was second with $310 million in assets on June 30, according to the OCC. It says it is the oldest Indian-owned bank in the country, dating back to 1971. Other Indian banks can trace their roots farther back, through older non-Indian banks they took over.

According to the bank, it was required to raise at least 75 percent of its initial stock sales from Native Americans. When it opened in 1971, it had 97 percent Native equity. The Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina is based in Pembroke. Lumbee Guaranty earned $1 million in the first quarter of this year, it reported.

The smallest Indian banks include Native American Bank, Denver, at $63 million in assets, and Eagle Bank, Polson, Montana, with $51 million.

Not all Indian banks are success stories. Canyon National Bank, Palm Springs, California, owned by the Agua Caliente Band, failed in 2011. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the bank was closed and deposits transferred to Pacific Premier Bank, Costa Mesa, California.

Canyon National had $210 million in assets at time of closure. FDIC estimated the closure would cost it $10 million. According to press reports, the bank’s troubles came from its commercial real estate loans.

Other Indian-owned banks include Allnations Bank, Calumet, Oklahoma; Bank of Cherokee County, Hulbert, Oklahoma; Bank of CMRC, Stillwell, Oklahoma; Bank2, Oklahoma City; Bay Bank, Green Bay, Wisconsin; First National Bank & Trust, Shawnee, Oklahoma; First State Bank of Porter, Oklahoma; FirstBank, Antlers, Oklahoma; Fort Gibson State Bank, Fort Gibson, Oklahoma; Oklahoma State Bank, Vinita, Oklahoma; Peoples Bank, Westville, Oklahoma; Peoples Bank, Seneca, Missouri; Pinnacle Bank, Marshalltown, Iowa; Turtle Mountain State Bank, Belcourt, North Dakota; and Woodlands National Bank, Hinckley, Minnesota.

You need to be logged in in order to post comments
Please use the log in option at the bottom of this page