Published December 27, 2015
WASHINGTON — Calling it an affront to Native Americans everywhere, the Native American Financial Services Association (NAFSA) has condemned a false and offensive statement by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) about the legal status of tribal e-commerce businesses.
The CFPB falsely asserted that Native American tribal lending businesses often “skirt” the law when the exact opposite is true. The agency also issued the false statement as part of a complaint that did not involve a tribal business.
“When an agency of the federal government and a powerful regulator makes a false statement like this about Indian Country it is an affront to Native Americans everywhere and only adds to concerns that the CFPB is out of control,” said Barry Brandon, Executive Director of NAFSA. “The tribal lenders we represent follow federal law and enforce a strict tribal code of laws and regulations. We have deep concerns that the CFPB intends to ignore the facts and treat Native American businesses as outlaws and lawbreakers.
“The CFPB’s assertion is also out of step with President Obama’s comments last month at the 2015 White House Tribal Nations Conference, where he said that encouraging long-term economic development opportunities for sovereign tribes that promote their self-sufficiency should be a primary focus for the federal government. We are calling on the CFPB to immediately retract this false statement and remove it from the agency’s website and any other materials where it may have appeared.”