NAFSA ED Davis Stresses Industry Best Practices, Self-Regulation at Tribal Regulators Conference

Dec 4, 2017 | News

NAFSA Executive Director Gary Davis spoke of the importance of a cooperative industry best practices to strengthen the self-regulation of tribal online lending at the Tribal Regulators Conference in Minneapolis on November 30th. The conference, hosted by the Indian Law group at Robins Kaplan, gathered a number of industry experts and tribal regulators together for discussions on establishing lending codes, contracting with service providers, and recent developments in the courts and federal laws.


The day’s activities began with an update on the state of tribal lending from NAFSA ED Davis. Davis encouraged attendees to “look how far we’ve come.” He noted NAFSA’s recent letter to former CFPB Director Richard Cordray, joined by numerous prominent national Native associations and tribes, was a first-of-its-kind union of powerful Native groups galvanizing around NAFSA’s leadership in tribal online lending. Davis promised to continue to work hard in Washington, and “make sure Congress and federal regulators understand sovereignty.”


Davis noted that his advocacy must be supported by a regulatory environment that stresses industry best practices. NAFSA tribes have helped set the benchmark, and through NAFSA’s best practices Davis has shown members of Congress how tribes can effectively self-regulate their own business activity.


Davis’s remarks were echoed by former National Indian Gaming Commission Chairwoman, Tracie Stevens. She found many parallel between the early years of tribal gaming and the young online lending industry, something also recognized by NAFSA members. However, she encouraged tribal governments in online lending to forge their own self-regulatory path and avoid the tribal-state compact model memorialized under the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Fair and transparent operations, customers protections, and compliance with tribal laws would build a strong lending industry for the future.


The Tribal Regulators Conferences caps off a busy year for NAFSA staff advocating and educating on behalf of Native financial services. Over the course of 2017, NAFSA staff visited with key members of Congress, served as presenting sponsor of the National Reservation Economic Summit in Las Vegas, and lent expertise to conferences and business gatherings across Indian Country. With the recent changing of the guard at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, NAFSA expects renewed opportunity to tell our story, promote tribal sovereignty, and advocate for responsible financial services to millions of underserved Americans.

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