Europe’s co-operative banks represent 85 million members and 43 000 outlets. They have 250 million clients and an average market share in Europe of 22%. Co-operative banks are engaged in sustainable finance and are key drivers for green transition at the regional and local level. In many remote parts of Europe, they are the only access to finance for SMEs and households and the only player helping customers towards the transition path. From this perspective, the concept of a just transition is particularly important for the EACB members. The role of co-operative banks is accompanying members and clients in the long-term.
Against this background, the EACB would like to provide comments on selected actions of the new EU Commission “strategy for financing the transition to a sustainable economy”. In general, we would like to underline our support to the four-pillar approach: i) financing the transitions, ii) inclusiveness, iii) resilience and iv) global ambition. We welcome the focus on enabling economic actors across the full spectrum to finance their transition plans and to reach environmental goals, whatever their starting point is. We also welcome the focus on small and medium sized enterprises and retail clients as the key actors at the local level to enable the transition. Our detailed comments on selected actions of the Strategy are outlined in the paper attached.