Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Winnipeg financial firm offered 'kickbacks' to chiefs to land business deals


Two First Nation chiefs say they were offered money as enticement to sign their communities up for Bank of Montreal loan agreements arranged by a Winnipeg-based financial firm that an internal document shows used “kickbacks” as a tool to secure clients.

The chiefs, from Manitoba and Saskatchewan, said they were offered money by senior officials with The Usand Group, which bills itself as a firm dedicated to helping First Nation communities participate in the “global economy,” according to its website.

They said Usand would arrange the loan agreements with the First Nation and then approach the Bank of Montreal to secure the loan. The loan total would include fees owed to Usand resulting from the firm arranging the agreement.


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