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.
Members control their bank. Customers and members of co-operative banks are represented in the bank’s governance structure.
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.
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.
Michael HagerHead of Cabinet of the Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis , European Commission
“Over the years of service at the Commission, I came to fully appreciate the role played by co-operative banks in the economy and the trust they built with customers thanks to their proximity to the needs of the local communities. When looking at the implementation of Basel III, the European Commission is carefully listening to the concerns pointing to substantial increases of capital requirements. In times of recovery the ability of EU banks to lend should not be undermined. The revised impact assessment will analyse a range of options. We will work on implementing the agreement in a way that is faithful to the standard while at the same time taking proper account of European specificities.” Statement made on the occasion of the 43rd EACB Executive Committee meeting, 18 June 2021
Alexandra Jour-SchroederDeputy Director-General, DG FISMA, European Commission
“Co-operative banks play an important role in the EU´s banking landscape. They have contributed to ensuring finance continues to flow to households and businesses in the current crisis. We are aware of their specificities. DG FISMA will continue to ensure that it takes a proportionate approach in all its actions. Statement made on the occasion of the 42nd EACB Executive Committee meeting, 21 April 2021
Mairead McGuinnessCommissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets Union, European Commission
“Over the last year, banks have played a key role in continuing to lend to households and businesses, helping to cushion the economic impact of the pandemic. As we move out of the crisis, it is essential that the right conditions are in place for a fair recovery. I welcome and thank the EACB for being part of our stakeholder roundtable process, focused on addressing the problems arising from the pandemic.” Statement made on the occasion of the 34th EACB Board meeting, 13 April 2021
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.”
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