First Nations Bank of Canada Aims to Raise C$50 Million for Expansion

The First Nations Bank of Canada plans a major expansion, aiming to raise C$50M to double its loan book and support Indigenous participation in major projects across Canada, enabled by a new federal loan guarantee program.

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Sakchi Khandelwal
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First Nations Bank of Canada Aims to Raise C$50 Million for Expansion

First Nations Bank of Canada Aims to Raise C$50 Million for Expansion

The First Nations Bank of Canada, the largest Indigenous-owned bank in the country, has announced plans to raise up to C$50 million (US$36 million) to expand its services and reach more Indigenous customers across Canada. The Saskatoon-based bank aims to increase its capital by as much as 50% through an issuance later this year, with a goal of doubling its C$600 million loan book over the next few years.

CEO Bill Lomax stated that this may be the first of two equity raises in the coming years, as the bank sees an opportune time to raise capital for its expansion plans. The fundraising effort will support the bank's growth strategy and help it better meet the financial needs of its target Indigenous clientele, which includes First Nations, Inuit, and Métis individuals and communities.

The First Nations Bank of Canada has been operating as a federally chartered Schedule 1 bank since 1996, focusing on providing banking services to Indigenous peoples. The planned expansion is part of a broader effort to support Indigenous participation in major projects across Canada.

The federal government has established a C$5 billion Indigenous Loan Guarantee Program, which Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland described as a 'significant development' that will enable First Nations to bring capital to the table and enter into equity partnerships for resource and energy projects. The program is expected to unlock up to C$525 billion in capital investment over the next 10 years.

Why this matters: The First Nations Bank of Canada's expansion plans and the federal government's Indigenous Loan Guarantee Program represent significant steps towards increasing Indigenous economic prosperity and advancing reconciliation in Canada. These initiatives aim to empower Indigenous communities to participate in major resource and energy projects, fostering greater equity and opportunities for Indigenous peoples.

The First Nations Major Projects Coalition, representing 155 First Nations, is playing a key role in assisting Indigenous communities with informed decision-making and negotiations around major project developments. The coalition has helped First Nations secure equity partnerships in specific projects, such as the Coastal GasLink pipeline and the Hydro One Lakeshore transmission line.

Key Takeaways

  • First Nations Bank of Canada plans to raise C$50M to expand services for Indigenous customers.
  • Bank aims to increase capital by 50% and double its C$600M loan book in coming years.
  • Federal government's C$5B Indigenous Loan Guarantee Program to enable Indigenous equity partnerships.
  • Program expected to unlock up to C$525B in capital investment over 10 years.
  • First Nations Major Projects Coalition assists Indigenous communities in major project negotiations.