The OCC published its latest Community Developments Investments newsletter on Wednesday, explaining how banks can use federal programs to promote economic development in Native American territories.
“By helping banks better understand the economic and banking landscapes in Indian Country, and by presenting examples of how other banks and financial institutions have experienced success working with Native communities, we hope to open the door to more investments and loans in places that need them most,” Barry Wides, the deputy comptroller of community affairs at the OCC, said in the newsletter.
While the 2008 financial crisis had a severe impact on Native American communities, some banks have been able to continue to extend loans and make investments in native communities. Over the past few years, institutions like U.S. Bank, First National Bank Alaska and Bank of Oklahoma have provided native communities with loans and other financial products and services.
Banks can take advantage of federal programs like U.S. Small Business Administration loans, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program and the Department of Agriculture’s Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program.
“Banks that consider Indian Country for business stand to reap more than profits,” Wides said. “Loans and investments help create jobs, revitalize communities experiencing record unemployment and open the door to local Native entrepreneurs seeking to build and grow businesses, pushing forward the wheel of growth.”