Tribal lenders praise Treasury Department study of industry

Sherry Treppa, the chairwoman of the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake in California, discusses her tribe's online lending operation in the film An Unlikely Solution

The Native American Financial Services Association is welcoming the chance to influence a new study of the online lending industry.

Tribes across the nation have started online lending businesses to serve customers without traditional banking options. Their operations will be a part of the new Treasury Department study.

“Treasury’s announcement is a tremendous affirmation of what NAFSA has been saying all along,” executive director Barry Brandon said today. “Innovations in the financial services industry, like those pioneered by the Tribal businesses that make up NAFSA, are providing underbanked consumers with safe and affordable access to credit when they need it the most.”

Online lending has been controversial and tribes have faced enforcement actions from state and federal agencies. The Treasury study, though, appears to be taking on a different tone -- the department wants to hear from the public about the "safe growth" of the market.

“NAFSA looks forward to directly engaging with the Treasury Department on this issue, which has proven to be a critical economic development lifeline for sovereign Native American tribes across the country,” Brandon said. “With many tribes facing extreme poverty and unemployment rates, and tied to geographically remote reservations lacking access to traditional avenues of economic growth, e-commerce has proven itself to be an indispensable tool for improving the social welfare of Native Americans."

Comments are being accepted through August 31.

Federal Register Notice:
Public Input on Expanding Access to Credit Through Online Marketplace Lending (July 20, 2015)

Related Stories
Treasury Department seeks comments about online lending (7/17)
Chippewa Cree Tribe hit with class action over online lending (05/15)
Opinion: Connecticut takes wrong approach with tribal lenders (04/30)
Supreme Court won't review case involving Indian online lender (04/29)
Connecticut tribes support state's efforts against online lenders (04/14)
Editorial: Tribal online lending operations deserve state scrutiny (04/13)
Otoe-Missouria Tribe wages campaign to protect online lending (04/07)
Jane Daugherty: Tribal e-commerce continues to draw scrutiny (03/26)
Chairman of Otoe-Missouria Tribe disputes fine in lending dispute (03/12)
James Williams: Lac Vieux Desert Band regulates online lending (03/06)
Cash lenders accused of targeting tribal members in New Mexico (3/5)
Lac Vieux Desert Band relies on revenue from lending business (3/2)
Native American Financial Services Association names director (02/05)
Internet lenders linked to Miami Nation agree to $21M settlement (01/19)
Chairman of Otoe-Missouria Tribe fined for online loan operation (01/07)
Tribes withdraw Internet lending lawsuit after losing decision (11/04)
Opinion: Tribes turn their acumen to Internet lending industry (10/24)
Law Article: Clash of competing sovereigns in tribal lending case (10/06)
NAFSA puts a positive spin on decision in tribal lending lawsuit (10/2)
2nd Circuit rebuffs tribal online lenders in dispute with New York (10/1)
Jane Daugherty: Tribes lose out in battle over Internet lending (10/09)
Tribes seek expedited appeal in New York online lending suit (10/08)
Judge rebuffs tribal online lenders in case against New York (10/01)
Otoe-Missouria Tribe sees benefits from Internet lending firms (09/16)
Tribal online lenders off to court in lawsuit against New York (09/11)
Otoe-Missouria Tribe defends online payday lending business (08/14)

Join the Conversation