"Financing Local Development:
Understanding the Role of Mutual Credit and Co-Operative Banks"
Jointly organised the OECD LEED Programme, in partnership with the Inter-ministerial Delegation for Innovation, Social Experimentation and Social Economy, the National Co-operation Group and with the co-operation of the Eurogroup Institute
Paris 23 November 2007
Financing local development is not simply a question of finding the public money required to invest in a local productive base, or wider economic development opportunities. How local development is financed plays a key part in defining what the goals of local development may be, and the extent to which the outcomes will be sustainable in both financial and economic terms. Financing local development involves both public and private finance, including philanthropic financing, and the mix of these varies very broadly throughout OECD Member Countries.
It also concerns multiple actors and the banking sector is one of these. The mutual benefit and credit co-operative sector represents an important part of the banking sector but its contribution to the funding of local development has not yet been studied sufficiently. If, as a general rule, an area’s economic development is influenced by the actions and strategies of the banks operating there, certain of them, such as the mutual benefit and co-operative banks, have a specific vocation to support local development as this corresponds to their statutory mission.
The conference aimed to highlight the co-operative sector contribution to economic development by means of analysing its identifying characteristics, its territorial service mission, the differences between this sector and that of commercial credit, its relationship between alternative and philanthropic funding (finances solidaires). It also strived to pose questions on the validity of the co-operative credit model compared with other existing models in the banking sector, as well as on the challenges which the sector must face to find a balance between economic efficiency and its social mission, and between its dimension of proximity and its position on the international markets.
Garry Cronan, Director of Communication, International Co-operative Alliance, Switzerland
Funding local development: an evolving landscape
Greg Clark, Advisor, City and Regional Development,
Department of Communities and Local Government, United Kingdom, and
Chair of the LEED Forum on Development Agencies and Investment Strategies
Co-operative banks and their capacity for territorial innovation
Nadine Richez Battesti, Senior Lecturer, Université de la Mediterranée, Aix-Marseille II, France
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