First Nations Bank of Canada Closes Share Offering

    Gross Proceeds of $14 Million Raised

    SASKATOON, SK, Oct. 29 /CNW/ - First Nations Bank of Canada ("First
Nations Bank") today announced that it has closed a private placement share
offering to Aboriginal investors of 6,222,240 shares at an issue price of
$2.25 per share for gross proceeds of $14 million. Prior to the closing of the
private placement, First Nations Bank adopted a new Bylaw No. 2 that
established the post-closing governance structure of the Bank.
    The proceeds of the private placement will be primarily used to fund the
future growth of the Bank and 19.5% of the proceeds will be used to redeem
shares owned by the Toronto-Dominion Bank ("TD Bank"), who will continue to
hold a 9% interest in the common shares. The redemption is consistent with the
original plans for the First Nations Bank to be controlled by Aboriginal
Shareholders. At the close of the offering, Aboriginal Shareholders from
across Canada will own 91% of the common shares of the Bank. TD Bank Financial
Group will continue to provide services to First Nations Bank.
    Today's announcement is a proud accomplishment for First Nations Bank, TD
Bank Financial Group and the Aboriginal community as it represents the
fulfillment of the vision that launched the creation of the Bank in 1996.
    "The intent from day one was to create an Aboriginal-owned and controlled
independent bank," said Keith Martell, Executive Chair, First Nations Bank of
Canada. "The additional investment from both new and existing shareholders is
a strong endorsement of this vision and of our Bank."
    The new capital will support future growth including expansion in
existing regional markets as well as new branches in some of the regions where
new investors reside. For example, with new investment from Atuqtuarvik
Corporation, an Inuit-owned investment company based in Rankin Inlet and
Gwich'in Settlement Corporation, the investment arm of the Gwich'in Tribal
Council of Inuvik, expansion into the important Aboriginal markets in Nunavut
and Northwest Territories is likely.
    "Financial services are an important part of the economic infrastructure
- and the growing Aboriginal economy and the unique financial services needs
of our communities was a driving force behind the creation of the Bank," said
Lucy Pelletier, Chair of the Board of Saskatchewan Indian Equity Foundation
Inc. "The investment from other Aboriginal groups from across Canada adds
support to our efforts to create a successful national Aboriginal-controlled
financial institution."

    About First Nations Bank of Canada

    First Nations Bank is a domestic, federally chartered bank with branches
in Saskatchewan, Ontario, Manitoba, Yukon 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. In addition to the founding shareholders, Aboriginal
groups from the Yukon, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and Atuqtuarvik Corporation
of Nunavut, Gwich'in Tribal Council of Northwest Territories and the James Bay
Cree of Quebec have become shareholders of First Nations Bank.

For further information:

For further information: Keith Martell, Executive Chairman, First
Nations Bank of Canada, (306) 955-6734; Arden Buskell, President and Chief
Operating Officer, First Nations Bank of Canada, (306) 955-6736

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First Nations Bank of Canada

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