From Bingo to Banks?
Broward Daily Business Review (08/16/00) No. 824 p.A1; Rosenberg, Sharon Harvey

A new bank currently being developed, Native American Bancorp, plans to finance institutions owned by American Indians and also back large commercial loans, according to the North American Native American Bankers Association (NANBA). John Beirise, formerly of Mercantile Bank in St. Louis, has been tapped to serve as president of the new bank, and NANBA officials say the Seminole tribe in Florida would like to be one of the bank's 15 tribal shareholders. The tribal shareholders' communities will host branches of Native American Bancorp, which would also serve as a wholesale bank for Indian-owned institutions and provide investment banking and trust operations as well. The bank would probably be based in Denver, and it hopes to receive $30 million in shareholder funding this summer, mostly from gaming operations. The United States and Canada currently have about 10 community banks owned by Native Americans, and NANBA thinks the coming years will see more such banks being formed.


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