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Credico-op Bank

The Credico-op Bank (Banco Credicoop) is the largest cooperatively-owned bank in Argentina.


The Credico-op Bank resulted from the merger of 44 Argentine credit unions, in 1979. This was motivated largely by the adverse effect Economy Minister Jose Alfredo Martinez de Hoz's Financial Entities Law of 1977 had on this sector. The policy encouraged commercial banks in Argentina to offer high-yield, exotic investments by extending the Central Bank's guarantee to losses accrued from these financial vehicles. This practice collapsed between 1980 and 1982, however, and hundreds of unregulated, non-banking financial institutions, as well as numerous banks, closed.Lewis, Paul. The Crisis of Argentine Capitalism. University of North Carolina Press, 1990. Today, the Credico-op is Argentina's eleventh-largest bank by total assets and ninth-largest by deposits (US$2.8 billion); Nearly all of this is accounted for by its over 670,000 members, and Credico-op maintains 244 branches.

The institution is organized as a credit union, and operates as a non-profit cooperative. Each member is given one vote at all shareholder meetings, and the top ten depositors account for less than 10% of deposits. It is also a lender in a country where domestic credit is difficult to access, holding a net loan portfolio of nearly US$1.7 billion (3.5% of the domestic total). Loans to small and medium businesses accounted for 70% of this, and the credit union holds 5% of the nation's domestic loans to this sector. The credit union provides personal and business financial and accounting services; since 1980, it has issued Cabal, the only cooperatively-managed credit card in Argentina. The group also manages the Previsol Pension Fund and numerous insurers. Credico-op is a standing member of the International Co-operative Alliance.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Credico-op Bank

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