Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Bank 2, Oklahoma City: When 1 + 1 Doesn't Equal 2

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Bank 2, Oklahoma City: When 1 + 1 Doesn't Equal 2

Article excerpt

If you just went by the history of Bank 2, you'd come to the wrong conclusion about how it got its name, even if you took into account its registered slogan: "Bank 2: Twice the Bank."

Bank 2's story begins with the Chickasaw Nation, one of the so-called "Five Civilized Tribes." The tribe holds all or parts of 13 Oklahoma counties. The Chickasaw, unlike other tribes that have mostly embraced the gambling business, have been entrepreneurs for years. The Chickasaw Nation tribally owns extensive business activities and investments--more than 27 in all--including a chocolate factory and retail store; a chain of roadside travel plazas and trading posts; a hotel; a radio station; and gambling and tobacco sales operations.

What the tribe did not have was a bank. In 1999, organizers within the tribe convinced the tribal governor to work with the nation's Legislature to approve a plan to capitalize and charter Chickasaw Banc Holding Co. The company was formed in March 2001 and Ross Hill, a veteran banker and a non-Native American, was hired to helped get a bank subsidiary off the ground. Within a year, the holding company acquired two "firsts." One was First Bancorp's First State Bank in Davidson, Okla, and the other was the Oklahoma City branch of First National Bank of Oklahoma City.

So, First and First makes 2, right? Wrong.

The bank, which today has $53.9 million in assets, has two strategies. One is to pursue any and all business it can find in Oklahoma City. Hill brought a Large handful of people with him from a past bank, and they have used their connections to build up Loan volume. The second strategy is to provide top banking services to members of the Chickasaw nation. Mortgage lending is a priority--the tribally owned Lands and sovereign status of the reservation make traditional mortgage tending a challenge. So Hill has worked hard to build the bank's ability to participate in special mortgage programs that work with tribal Lands, and has added not only a Native American mortgage specialist to the staff, but also additional Native American employees. …

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