Finally, it is going to be easy for Absentee Shawnee tribal members to use the bank the tribe has owned for the past six years.
That’s because All Nations Bank’s first branch will open officially on Thursday, May 19, in the tribal complex in Shawnee, Oklahoma. The other, main office is located in Calumet—80 miles away.
Tribal governor George Blanchard, one of the leaders behind the original bank idea (along with then-Treasurer Russell Ellis) will make some remarks after the ribbon cutting.
All Nations is a small community bank, started more than a century ago in 1902 and bought by the tribe six years ago. Chairman and chief executive Gene Davis noted that the bank has a hefty amount of capital at $4.5 million, which is more than 10 percent of its assets of $33 million.
“We’re conservative, but we also service the community, so we’re not ultra-conservative,” he said.
The bank has a loan portfolio of $15 million, which includes agricultural loans, small business lending, residential and commercial construction, and consumer loans such as car and boat loans. It has 1,500 deposit accounts.
The bank’s maximum loan is $1 million, but it can participate in larger loans if bigger lenders are also involved. Some of the loans have gone toward strip malls, storage facilities and office buildings.
The bank has eight employees at the two locations. Eugene Stidham is the Shawnee branch manager.
Looking forward, Davis said the bank hopes to add tribal members as employees (it currently has none) and is looking to secure status as a CDFI (community development financial institution). This federal certification will give the bank more flexibility and make it eligible for grants from the CDFI Fund.
It also hopes to develop a mortgage operation, something it has not focused on to date. Davis said new regulations have kept the bank from getting into mortgages. “It takes a special dedicated person to do that,” he said.
Davis has been chairman and ceo for the past two years, focusing on getting the branch approvals. Tribal member Anita Chisholm is a member of the All Nations board.