Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Great Plains Lending, LLC, et. al. is a very important court case for those operating in the tribal lending space, including NAFSA members.

We took the time to explain some of the nuances about the case and the underlying issues to BuzzFeed, including our members’ robust regulatory regimes in the context of the co-regulatory structure that we believe was the intent of the Dodd-Frank Act and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Check out the article below, including Executive Director Gary Davis’s comments. We look forward to continuing to explain why the services our members provide are so vital for the millions of unbanked Americans – and for tribes’ sovereign rights.

The tribes have created their own oversight systems for their financial businesses, in the spirit of co-regulation with the US government, said Gary Davis, the executive director of Native American Financial Services Association, which represents nine tribes that operate financial companies, including two of those involved in the current dispute. The group’s chairman, John Shotton, is a member of Otoe-Missouria, which own Great Plains Lending.

“However, what we have seen is that tribes in the space have been labeled ‘bad actors’ by the CFPB and state regulators at a level disproportionate to the number of actual complaints received by any regulatory body,” he told BuzzFeed News. “Now, these three tribes find themselves engaged in a very expensive lawsuit when there is no reason to suggest that the co-regulatory model was ineffective.”

Echoing a defense favored by the payday lending industry, Davis argued that tribal lending companies are often the only financial institutions willing to serve Americans who don’t qualify for traditional credit lines from big banks. “These are not bad citizens,” he said of the industry’s customer base. “Folks out there are aware of what this is doing to help American citizens.”

Read more at BuzzFeed

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