First Nations Bank of Canada has an excellent year



    SASKATOON, Feb. 2 /CNW/ - In a year marked by a global financial crisis,
First Nations Bank of Canada ("First Nations Bank") bucked the trend and had
excellent results by avoiding the difficulties in the financial markets and
through continuing to focus on serving the Aboriginal economy.
    First Nations Bank announced strong earnings for the fiscal year ended
October 31, 2008 of $1.69 million. Low loan losses and the control of
non-interest expenses to levels comparable to the prior year made a strong
contribution to the Bank's solid income performance. Total deposits for fiscal
2008 grew to $199.7 million, an increase of $50.5 million or 33.8% over prior
year. The record growth in deposits strengthened liquidity and pushed Total
Assets to a record high of $253.2 million.
    Return on equity for the year was 6.2% and is on target with the Bank's
strategic directive of growing its branch network and expanding its loan and
deposit volumes.
    In October 2007 First Nations Bank closed a private placement share
offering which increased the Aboriginal shareholders voting control to 91%.
The proceeds of the private placement have primarily been used to fund the
growth of the Bank.
    "The Bank had a very good year in a financial market that was
characterized by margin compression and lower yields," said Arden Buskell,
President and Chief Operating Officer. "The Bank had no exposure to the North
American subprime lending market or to asset-backed commercial paper. The
strengthening of the Bank's cash holdings, positions us very well for
continued growth and expansion in fiscal 2009."
    Shortly after year end the Bank opened its second branch in Saskatchewan
(sixth branch in total) at Flying Dust First Nation.
    "The Bank was created to focus on meeting the financial services needs of
the Aboriginal market. Our growth is evidence that we are meeting the
expectations of a growing number of customers." said Keith Martell, Executive
Chair. "Our success continues to come from focusing on our customers, our
people and aligning ourselves with the expectations of our shareholders. As
long as we keep focused on these, we will be successful."

    
    About First Nations Bank of Canada:
    -----------------------------------
    

    First Nations Bank of Canada is a domestic, federally chartered bank with
branches in Saskatchewan, Yukon, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec and executive
offices in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. It offers a full range of personal and
business banking services with a primary focus on Aboriginal customers.
    First Nations Bank was founded in 1996 as a strategic alliance of the
Saskatchewan Indian Equity Foundation Inc., the Federation of Saskatchewan
Indians, Inc. and The Toronto-Dominion Bank with a directive to offer services
to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal customers. The Bank was conceived and
developed by Aboriginal People, for Aboriginal People and regards itself as an
important step toward Aboriginal economic self-sufficiency.
    Through its principal network of six branch locations (3 on reserve) and
together with the support of its Aboriginal shareholders, the Bank has
demonstrated consistent growth and has achieved profitability during each of
the past eight years. Bank services are available through its network of
branches and community banking centres and through all TD Canada Trust branch
and electronic banking channels.
    First Nations Bank is the first Canadian bank with majority Aboriginal
share ownership. The Bank is 91% controlled by a widely held group of
Aboriginal shareholders including Aboriginal organizations from Saskatchewan,
Manitoba, Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Quebec.





For further information:

For further information: Keith Martell, Executive Chair of the Board,
Phone: (306) 955-6734, E-Mail: martek2@firstnationsbank.com; Arden Buskell,
President and Chief Operating Officer, Phone: (306) 955-6736, E-Mail:
arden.buskell@firstnationsbank.com; or visit www.firstnationsbank.com

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First Nations Bank of Canada

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