What is a Co-operative bank ?
The Co-operative Difference : Sustainability, Proximity, Governance
Co-operative banks are key actors in the European economy. They provide access to finance at local level and are widespread even in remote areas of the continent. More than 43,000 outlets offer close and unique relationships with customers. The European co-operative movement also reflects the tradition of responsibility and social cohesion since their creation in the 19th Century. Their wide-ranging networks oftenmake them the main employers and taxpayers in their own regions. Co-operative banks employ approximately 705,000 people in Europe.
Emphasising the common good of society. Co-operative banks play a key role in local and regional development by reinvesting capital at the local level.
Members control their bank. Customers and members of co-operative banks are represented in the bank’s governance structure.
Closest to the customers. Local co-operative banks usually have a good physical proximity, thanks to their dense networks of branches.
Trust is the key of the relationship between a bank and its customers. This means that their operations are set to serve the customers’ interests.
Solid adapting to changing circumstances. Co-operative institutions can adapt to changing circumstances and re-invent themselves more so than other banks.
Supporting and operating nearby. They naturally take initiatives, aiming to improve the clients’ environment and provide financial services.
What they say about us
Martin MerlinDirector, DG Fisma, European Commission
"Covid-19 has disrupted life around the world. But the pandemic has not changed the challenges our economies have been facing prior to its outbreak such as the green and digital transitions. Cooperative banks and their specific model anchored in the local economy and the common good play a key role in mitigating the economic shock and financing the recovery towards an inclusive, sustainable and green economy. Today’s conference allowed us to take stock how we collectively responded to the crisis so far, and to discuss how to ensu
Peter SimonMember, Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, European Parliament
”Co-operative banks are crucial for the financing of the real economy in the European Union. Especially small and medium enterprises and regular consumers are customers of co-operative banks that manage their assets and provide credit ...
Marcel HaagDirector, DG FISMA, European Commission
"Co-operative banks can play a crucial role in the transition towards a more sustainable and more resilient economy. Most of them know their clients really well and keep very close and long-term relations with them. This proximity is very precious in the transition. Co-operative banks can raise their clients’ awareness on their specific sustainability challenges and opportunities, and accompany and support them in their projects. The success of the transition towards more sustainability does not depend on public policies alone. We also need each and every citizen, SME, community and financial institution to examine, at their level, what they can do. With their large SME and community customer base co-operative banks are very well placed to support moving our economies in this direction.”