Native American Bank doubles profits


DENVER - Last year turned out to be a good one for Native American Bank, as the financial institution more than doubled 2006 profits and increased assets by about 20 percent.

In addition, NAB has little exposure to the subprime mortgage crisis, according to president and chief executive J.D. Colbert, Chickasaw/Creek. The bank;s 2006 annual report showed just 16 percent of NAB's lending in residential real estate.

The national association earned $1.4 million for 2007, a 154 percent increase from $551,000 in 2006, according to its fourth quarter 2007 report. (The bank posted a net loss of $154,000 for 2005.) Assets grew from $82 million to $97 million, and loans increased by $19 million, up 28 percent from 2006. They were $61 million at the end of 2005.

$418,000 of the earnings came from an income tax benefit, but even without that, NAB's earnings were well up in 2007 from the year before at $982,000.

In addition, according to Colbert, the bank's return on average assets was 1.54 percent for the fourth quarter, well above its peer group average of .94 percent.

''Things at NAB have never been better,'' according to Colbert's president's message in the quarterly report. Colbert, who founded the North American National Bankers Association, said the bank has been ''unrelenting'' in its efforts to make loans ''to new and existing enterprises in Indian country, as well as a host of tribes and individual Indians.''

The chief executive commented, ''A Native-owned and managed bank is best positioned to provide the highest level of banking services to Indian country.''

Colbert noted that NAB opened an office in Anchorage, Alaska, last year. The bank also provided a loan for a $4.5 million power generator in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.

The financing went to Tanadgusix Power, a unit of Tanadgusix Corp., for a generator for its 10MW diesel and natural gas plant on the North Slope of Alaska. The company supplies power to north Alaska and the Prudhoe Bay oil fields. TDX has been in energy supply since 1997 when it started a wind/diesel power plant on St. Paul Island.

Deposits grew from $71.2 million at the end of 2006 to $87 million at the end of last year. Net loans grew from $68.1 million at the end of 2006 to $87.4 million at the end of 2007. Real estate owned increased to $359,000 from $24,000 but remained a small percentage of NAB's assets. Provision for loan losses decreased, from $160,000 to $108,000.

Shareholders' equity, also called net worth, increased by $1.5 million, from $10.2 million Dec. 31, 2006, to $11.7 million at the end of 2007.

NAB's 2006 annual report (the 2007 report is forthcoming) shows that 56 percent of its loans at the end of that year were commercial. Commercial real estate or construction loans were the next largest, at 19 percent, followed by mortgages at 16 percent. Consumer loans (5 percent) and agricultural loans (4 percent) made up the rest.

Other highlights in 2006 for the bank (which was started in 2001) include buying a bank charter in Colorado and obtaining HUDZone status from the Small Business Administration - the first bank ever to get that status. It also closed a loan of $2.8 million, with two other banks, to the Chippewa Cree Tribe for contract health care shortfalls.

In 2006, two more Alaska Native corporations joined its other 24 shareholders. They were Akhiok-Kaguyuk Inc. and the Association of Village Council Presidents.