Officials of the Korean Federation of Community Credit Cooperatives (KFCC) hold a video conference with their counterparts at the European Association of Cooperative Banks to discuss the sustainable models for the cooperative banking sector on Dec. 17. Photo courtesy of KFCC

Future of cooperative banking sectors discussed

The Korean Federation of Community Credit Cooperatives (KFCC) vies to seek a sustainable business model along with its European counterparts.

The primary apex organization for Korea’s cooperative banking segment said on Dec. 21 that it had held a video conference with officials of the European Association of Cooperative Banks (EACB).

They discussed how to deal with the emerging challenges like the digital financial systems and the business trends moving toward eco-friendly areas, according to the KFCC.

They also shared the best practices of each country.

Founded in 1970, the EACB maintains cooperative banks in more than 20 countries, which include thousands of small, regional, and large member banks in Europe.

Since late last year, Nina Schindler, formerly managing director at Deutsche Bank, has headed the EACB.

In 2020, the KFCC garnered a membership of the EACB that has successfully supported Europe’s rural economy despite the fast urbanization in the continent.

Earlier this week, Chairman Park Cha-hoon was elected to keep leading the KFCC, which represents up to 1,300 financial cooperatives in Korea.

After topping 20 million people in the customer base in Korea, the entity has tapped into foreign countries such as Laos, Uganda, Fiji, and Myanmar.

Observers expected that a mounting number of countries would adopt the cooperative banking system down the road.

“The cooperative banking system has a unique advantage of having a deep root in regional areas. It sounds good that the world’s cooperative banking giants cooperate to share the best practices,” Prof. Seo Yong-gu at Sookmyung Women’s University said.