WASHINGTON - The Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma is poised to join an exclusive club - the handful of tribal owners of national banks.
The Federal Reserve Board recently approved an application by AllNations Bancorporation, Shawnee, Okla. to buy the shares of a small existing community bank in Calumet, Okla. The bank holding company is owned by the Absentee Shawnee Tribe.
According to the Federal Reserve, there are just four other national banks owned by Indian tribes. They are Bay Bancorporation of Wisconsin (Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin); Mille Lacs Bancorporation, Minnesota (Mille Lacs tribe), Native American Bancorporation, Browning, Mont. (a consortium of tribes) and Chickasaw Banc Holding Co. of Oklahoma (Chickasaw).
Native American Bancorporation, perhaps the best known of the tribally-controlled banks, bought an existing Native bank, Blackfeet National Bank of Browning, Mont., which was the first tribal national bank.
There are other banks that are controlled by individual Indians, but the total of Indian-controlled banks in the country remains less than 20.
The Absentee Shawnees applied to buy First National Bank of Calumet, the 261st largest depository in the state, controlling $16.5 million in deposits. In granting approval on Nov. 12, the Fed gave the tribe three months to complete the acquisition.
The Federal Reserve considered the application from several required factors, the first being, would the acquisition result in a monopoly of banking services, or the lessening of competition? The board "concluded that consummation of the proposal likely would not have a significant adverse effect on competition or on concentration of banking resources in any relevant banking market."
The Fed also needed to consider whether the new bank will serve the needs of its community under the Community Reinvestment Act. It noted that First National of Calumet received a "satisfactory" mark in its most recent CRA examination from its regulator, the Office of Comptroller of the Currency.
The Fed noted "AllNations has stated it intends to retain the bank's current retail banking activities in the Calumet community and to offer retail banking services to the tribe and other Native-American tribes," and so approved it in categories of convenience and needs.
The Fed also reviewed and came to a favorable conclusion about the financial and managerial resources of AllNations, and looked into the financial statements of First National Bank of Calumet, and confidential reports made by the OCC.
The Fed also reviewed comment letters it received from interested parties, and AllNation's proposed operating plan for the bank and its intended managers. Stock of AllNations will be controlled by the governor of the tribe.
Besides the dozen or so banks controlled by tribes or individual Indians, there are approximately a dozen credit unions with tribal affiliations. The biggest of these is First Americans Credit Union, affiliated with the Navajo Nation and based in Window Rock, Ariz.