Northern News Services
Published Monday, January 23, 2012
Times are good for the First Nations Bank of Canada, and have been for some time for the institution known as "the aboriginal bank."
The First Nations Bank of Canada opened a branch in Iqaluit in June 2010, thanks to a partnership with Atuqtuarvik Corp. Pictured here in 2008 in Nunavut's capital are Greig Cooper, vice-president of operations for the bank, left, Arden Buskell, the bank's president, John Hickes, chairperson of Atuqtuarvik, Keith Martell, CEO of the bank and Ken Toner, president and CEO of Atuqtuarvik. - photo courtesy of First Nations Bank of Canada
As the domestic aboriginal market grows, the Saskatoon-based bank is growing along with it and seizing on increasing opportunity in the North.
"We like the North, we think the North offers a lot of opportunity for our bank," said Arden Buskell, president and chief operating officer. "So we've been moving in that direction."
According to fiscal 2011 financial results reported by the bank on Jan. 17, total assets for the institution topped $300 million, chairman and CEO Keith Martell stated, representing growth for the 14th straight year.
"Growth is coming from both our long standing and our newly established branches, including our newest branch in Iqaluit, Nunavut," Martell added. "Our branch in Iqaluit has displayed in its first full year of operations the kind of growth that we expected from that market."
The seventh branch in the country for the full-service, chartered bank opened in Iqaluit in June 2010, after Nunavut Land Claims Agreement subsidiary Atuqtuarvik Corp. became a major shareholder in the bank to expand banking services in the territory.