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The last years have witnessed a wide reshaping of the banking scene, theaftermath of which includes an increased risk of operative downsizing of thebanking system towards certain customer segmentations, marginal areas andactivities. Recently the banking scene has deteriorated, especially at the locallevel, as the financial crisis increased the scarcity of readily available,sufficient and reliable services. The present paper argues that this newreality creates new opportunities for financial cooperatives to increase theirimportance among the market and areas that they historically serve. Further,it argues that these changes can be exploited only if the financialcooperatives would be able to transform without losing their basic valuesand it outlines the critical path that the financial cooperatives should followin order to provide efficient, and crucial for local development, services andproducts. This route goes through the development of new strategies and incertain cases of the modernization of their services. The authors also stressand define the risk of failing that might hinder the cooperative movement, asthe huge potential of cooperative endeavors is rarely “translated”automatically to gains.

Keywords: financial cooperatives ; local development ; economic crisis ; bankingand development ; credit unions

Subject(s): Agricultural Finance

Community/Rural/Urban Development

Issue Date: 2011

Publication Type: Journal Article

PURL Identifier: Published in: Journal of Rural Cooperation, Volume 39, Number 1 Page range: 35-48

Total Pages: 14

Record appears in: Hebrew University of Jerusalem > Center for Agricultural Economic Research > Journal of Rural Cooperation

Autor: Alexopoulos, Yiorgos ; Goglio, Silvio


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