ESTABLISHING A NATCCO RURAL BANK: Expanding Credit Cooperatives’ Financial Services
The number of cooperatives with savings and credit operations has increased rapidly in the past years. These Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SCCs) primarily serve as the bank for poor people since they are primarily community based and do not have stringent requirements for membership. But regulatory requirements hinder savings and credit cooperatives from expanding their portfolio of services to include bank-like functions such as foreign currency deposits and provisions for checking accounts. Viewing this as an opportunity rather than a disadvantage, NATCCO is looking into the feasibility of establishing a NATCCO Rural Bank whose function will be to complement the services of SCCs thereby allowing SCCs to provide more comprehensive services to their members.The form and nature of the NATCCO Bank was conceptualized after a series of rigorous regional consultations involving leaders of SCCs with technical inputs from a Rabobank Foundation expert. The NATCCO Bank as envisioned after the round of consultations will be an “apex-network” bank which will be owned by NATCCO members. Noting that NATCCO members are co-ops with deposit taking and credit granting functions, the NATCCO Bank could aid in their operations by being a partner in lending to members whose needs are beyond that which SCCs can provide. SCCs can transact with the NATCCO Bank in behalf of their clients. The NATCCO Bank will principally serve SCCs by emphasizing corporate and consumer banking for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). It shall have microfinance services for compliance to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) requirements but shall serve only those markets which are not serviced by NATCCO member SCCs.