Mutuals Are More Resilient

August 12, 2013 in Sustainability

In recent times, the members, staff and directors of the Maleny Credit Union have had cause to think long and hard about what it means to be a “mutual” financial institution and the advantages of being a member-owned organization.

In that context, it was interesting to read a recent report prepared for the International Labour Organization entitled “Resilience in a downturn: the power of financial co-operatives” which was written by Professor Johnston Birchall.

Professor Birchall concluded that financial cooperatives have fared better than the investor-owned banks during the Global Financial Crisis. They kept credit flowing especially to small and medium sized enterprises and remained stable across diverse regions of the world while indirectly creating employment. He suggested that it is their unique combination of member ownership, control and benefit that is at the heart of their resilience and that provides a series of advantages over other banks.

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