Ethical Finance updates (18 November)

A new Young Co-operators Prize has launched to recognise new student and graduate co-operatives

New £30 million loan fund for social enterprises Social and Sustainable Capital has launched a new £30m loan fund. Partnering with Santander, Big Society Capital and the Social Investment Business Foundation, it offers a range of loan finance options to social enterprises and charities. Santander’s contribution is thought to be the largest pot made available […]


Sharing knowledge and experiences at European-wide co-op campus

EU Co-op Campus team in Almeria, 2014

The Co-operative College has helped develop a new learning framework for employees and members of co-ops in Europe. The College is one of eight partner organisations involved in the European Co-operative Campus (EUCC), a joint accredited programme designed to make it easier for employees and members of co-operatives to move across European countries. Through the EUCC, co-operatives […]


How are organisations using Co-operative Marque?

Sicoob, a national co-operative bank in Brazil

Since its launch in 2013, co-operatives around the world have begun to use the global Marque to highlight that they are a co-operative. Here we showcase a few of the boldest and most imaginative uses. Top: Brazilian financial co-operative, Sicoob, is a national co-operative bank. Its north west headquarters, currently being developed, will feature the […]


FCA draft guidance ‘threatens community shares and retail co-ops’

Some of the most successful community share issues have involved a ‘rescue’ of a local pub – including the Fox and Hounds in Cumbria

Proposals on share capital, set out in Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) draft guidance, could shut down the market for community shares and damage the co-operative movement’s best established businesses, co-operators say.  Dave Boyle, director of the Community Shares Company, says the FCA’s proposal to limit interest on co-operative society capital at base rate or below has ‘devastating potential’. “The base […]


Policies for the future

Members of the Unicorn Grocery wear co-op-themed T-shirts to celebrate Co-operatives Fortnight 2013

Many co-operatives are leading the way when it comes to sustainable practices. Here, the News looks at some examples of ethical policies put into practice by organisations in the movement The Phone Co-op The Phone Co-op’s ethical policy is based on the co-operative values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality and solidarity. The co-operative aims for […]


Ethical finance: co-operatives and investment


This year, the government passed proposals to allow people to invest up to £100,000 in a co-operative. An increase in the withdrawable share capital limit (originally set at £20,000) is one of the main ways for a co-op to secure capital, in line with the third co-operative principle. Co-operatives UK estimated this increase would be particularly […]


Co-operators feed back to FCA over draft guidance

The Rochdale Pioneers’ first shop on Toad Lane

Draft guidance from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) promises to shake up not only the regulation of co-operatives and community benefit societies, but also their very essence, as the definitions of these entities come under scrutiny. While co-operators have welcomed the debate, many are critical of the FCA’s proposals and are responding to a consultation on […]


How can liberation be applied to co-ops?

Opening of the Birmingham Student Housing Co-operative

At their annual conference in Edinburgh, student co-operators looked at what the co-operative movement could do to implement ‘liberating policies’. Leading the seminar, recent graduate Helena Dunnett-Orridge said the Rochdale Pioneers were a good example, with policies that laid the basis for an enterprise in which men and women were equal. “This provided more liberation […]


Credit unions top customer satisfaction among US financial institutions

Credit unions have ranked above banks in every component of the American Customer Satisfaction Index

Credit unions in America are ranked first in customer satisfaction, significantly outpacing all other financial institutions, according to findings released today by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).  The 85 customer satisfaction score is first among financial institutions, where the average bank score lags behind at 76. ACSI measures components including expectations, quality, value, loyalty […]


Sustainability: are co-operatives different?

Environmental sustainability: many co-operatives have strong green credentials

In a report on ‘the business of sustainability’, global management consultant McKinsey says: “The choice for companies today is not if, but how, they should manage their sustainability activities. Companies can choose to see this agenda as a necessary evil – a matter of compliance or a risk to be managed while they get on […]