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Challenges for Co-operative Bank UK, Mondragon in Spain, and RaboBank in Netherlands

16 Nov 2013 1:10 PM | Terry MacDonald (Administrator)
Three of the worlds oldest and strongest co-operatives have experienced significant setbacks during 2013.  I believe that the pursuit of profit or growth or both by senior management was one of the key reasons each of the organizations experienced problems. In the case of the Co-operative Bank... mismanaged acquisitions proved to be more than the bank could handle.  In Mondragon, one of its key subsidiary co-operatives continued losing money so much so that it is expected that it will need to be wound down  and that the financial fallout will be felt across the entire Mondragon network.  In the case of RaboBank it was fined more than 1 billion US dollars for manipulating the interbank offered rate and Euribor. It may still be too soon to know the full impact that these setbacks may have.  Nevertheless we'd like to hear how you think these financial and representational losses may affect not only these co-operatives and but co-operatives elsewhere as well. 


  • 21 Oct 2014 11:39 AM | Richard O'Farrell
    Those are three powerful examples you quote, taken together they are Co-op shattering news. A year on, the story is becoming clearer - the fallout even worse than originally projected. The private sector are financing large chunks of the Co-op movement now, and private money always has terms and conditions attached - primary amongst those being their first loyalty is to their stakeholders. With private sector, money flows up to the stakeholders; with co-ops money flows out into the communities - how do you square the two? You can't!

    The answer - Coops need to get their Voice back, be heard everywhere every day in every way. How do they do that- through Social Media? Are they doing that in any kind of prominent way yet, no! Look at the numbers compared to their billion plus membership. How can that be - because the billion who buy co-op because it's a co-op are among that half of the world that are still offline, and mostly under-banked or unbanked...without credit cards and affordable or available internet access?
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