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Robust Growth for First Nations Bank of Canada

First Nations Bank of Canada, majority-owned by aboriginals and serving the same clientele, announced robust earnings for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2010.
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First Nations Bank of Canada saw double-digit-percent increases in loans, assets and deposits for 2010, the country’s only majority aboriginal-owned and -operated bank said on Jan. 10.

All this plus a new branch in Inqaluit, Nunavut, in June 2010.

The bank said in a Jan. 10 press release that for the year ended Oct. 31, 2010, loan volumes grew by 22 percent, to $195.3 million, with total assets increasing by 11 percent, to $295.8 million. Total deposits grew to $240 million, an increase of $22.5 million, or 10.4 percent, over the previous fiscal year.

Net interest income grew by $734,000, hitting $7.7 million, with other income increasing by $408,000 to $3 million, the bank said. This caused net interest and other income to hit $10.2 million, a $1.1 million jump, or 12 percent, over the year before. The strong results offset the year-over-year increase in noninterest expense of $848,000, which resulted in income before taxes increasing by 21.4 percent, to $1.5 million. The increase in noninterest expenses was anticipated because the bank opened its seventh full-service branch, this one in Iqaluit, in June 2010. Net income increased by $152,000 to $958,000, an improvement of 19 percent over the previous year.

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“Our aboriginal-controlled bank’s primary objective is to serve the financial services needs of aboriginal people, businesses and governments,” Keith Martell, chairman and chief executive officer, said in the bank’s statement. “I am pleased that while continuing with our branch expansion and the transition to our own banking platform, we also delivered an increase in the financial performance of the bank.”

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan–based First Nations Bank of Canada was founded in 1996, according to company information, and today has branches in Saskatchewan, Ontario, Manitoba, Yukon, Nunavut and Quebec. Founded in 1996 as a venture between TD Bank (now TD Canada Trust) and the Saskatchewan Indian Equity Foundation, the bank began operating independently in 2009, continuing its focus on aboriginal customers who serve as its main client base today.

The bank’s aboriginal shareholders include groups from Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Quebec who together own 80.1 percent of the bank, according to the company’s site, which calls its aboriginal shareholders “progressive like-minded organizations, culturally and linguistically diverse,” as well as being well respected in their economic communities.