The Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota will be home to a new credit union.
The NCUA’s Office of Consumer Protection said it has approved the creation of Lakota Federal Credit Union, a low-income designated community credit union that will serve the approximately 40,000 people who live, work, worship, volunteer, attend school and transact business on the reservation.
The new credit union is being sponsored by Lakota Funds, a 26-year-old non-profit Community Development Financial Institution in Kyle, S.D.,
“The mission of Lakota Funds is to lead an economic resurgence of the Oglala Lakota Oyate tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation through cultural strategies reigniting the traditional Lakota spirit of productivity, commerce and trade,” the organization said in a statement.
Lakota FCU expects to open in November and in its first year offer regular shares, share certificates, unsecured loans, share-secured loans, auto loans, money orders, cashier checks, direct deposits, wire transfers, and check cashing, as well as ATM cards, online banking and audio response and ATMs.
As a designated low-income credit union, Lakota FCU can accept non-member deposits, obtain grants and loans from the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund, offer secondary capital accounts, and qualify for exemptions from statutory limits on member business lending, the NCUA said, adding that its Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives will also provide assistance to the new credit union.
“Every American deserves access to affordable financial services,” said NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz. “Unfortunately, many Native Americans on reservations only have access to predatory lenders. Lakota Federal Credit Union has the potential to play an important role on a 2.2 million-acre reservation that has no other access to federally insured financial services. I commend those individuals who worked so hard to establish this Native American credit union.”
Lakota FCU is the second credit union to be chartered by the NCUA this year. The first federal charter of 2012 was approved last week for Internet Archive FCU in New Jersey.