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News Release 2002-74 | September 19, 2002

OCC Updates Guide to Tribal Ownership of a National Bank

WASHINGTON — The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency today released an updated A Guide to Tribal Ownership of a National Bank, an agency publication designed to help Native American tribes explore entry into the national banking system by establishing or acquiring control of a national bank.

"Over the last decade, the OCC has witnessed an increase in the number of Native American tribes interested in owning a national bank," said Comptroller of the Currency John D. Hawke, Jr. "We have identified certain recurring issues that arise in meeting with tribes as they apply federal banking law and regulations in Indian Country."

The update booklet summarizes OCC guidance on those issues and other important considerations for tribes pursuing tribal ownership of a national bank. The revised guide contains expanded policy and procedural discussions and additional reference materials, as well as resource contacts. The booklet is a complement to the Comptroller's Licensing Manual, which contains the OCC's policies and procedures to form a new national bank or otherwise enter the national banking system.

"A national bank can help to improve the financial vitality of any local economy by providing basic banking services, such as checking and savings accounts, or by giving advice on financing arrangements for commercial and industrial development," said Comptroller Hawke. "Our hope is that this guide will facilitate tribal decisions to strengthen their communities through tribal ownership of a national bank."

Federally recognized Native American tribes hold a majority controlling ownership of the following six national banks: Borrego Springs Bank, N.A, Borrego Springs, CA; Woodlands National Bank, Hinckley, MN; People's National Bank, Seneca, MO; Native American Bank N.A., Browning MT; First National Bank & Trust Company, Shawnee, OK; and Canyon National Bank, Palm Springs, CA.

The revised guide will be released at the National Summit on Emerging Tribal Economies Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

This publication is available on the OCC's Website at

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