As a cooperative
bank were committed
to our member clients 9
countries to establish a cooperative structure,
but once that exists, preparation and
groundwork are vital to success. "I know that
in Australia they are interested in developing
such thinking around cliënt cooperatives, but
we need to take into account that if we do it,
it has to be well prepared, it has to be piloted
in one region to see how it works, and there
has to be a learning phase to establish what
the impact would be at Group level."
Coert Beerman notes that Rabobank has
already shown its ability to successfully
introducé and facilitate farmers' cooperatives.
in different countries, although he believes
running a financial cooperative is a different
challenge. "It is rather complex, with history
playing an important part in the checks
and balances of the cooperative structure.
However, I thinkthat it's possible through
education and if there's the desire at the right
De Vries believes influence should remain
at a national level. "For example, clients in
Australia could have some influence on how
the bank operates in Australia, but it makes
no sense that they have any impact on
what happens at Group level. It's also
important to remember that a cooperative
is built from its roots - that's the strength of
the structure. But I think to make customer
influence work abroad, you need to learn
from the experiences we've had in the
Netherlands, and learn from strong customer-
centred organisations in other countries. In
Australia, I think it would make sense to give
customers the opportunity to decide where
the bank's sponsorship money goes, for
example, and then evaluate and show them
the results. It took Rabobank in the Netherlands
more than 100 years to reach this point, so
we have to be patiënt when it comes to
rolling the model out abroad.'
Jörg Decressin, (2008), Cooperative Banks in Europe: Origins,
Developments, and Challenges, IMF. Speech held at the 3rd Convention of
the European Association of Cooperative Banks in Brussels.
Oliver Wyman (2008), Cooperative bank: customer champion. Research
report done by a consultancy Urm.
Vries de, Y.B. (2009), The European banking sector and the cooperative
banks, Economie Research Department, Rabobank Nederland.
Vries de, Y.B. (2009), The countervailing power of cooperative banks, in:
of the Dutch National cooperative Councit, May 2009.
W. (2007), Cooperative Banks in Europe-Policy issues, IMF
working paper 2007.