More than 3,800 co-operatives from Spain will be affected by new regulations in the credit union sector.
From the 1 October, the National Directorate for Co-operatives will cease to exist. Instead, the Superintendence of Popular and Solidarity Economy will be responsible for regulating credit co-ops.
Doris Soliz, minister of Social and Economic Inclusion announced that the Superintendence would be responsible for registering credit unions and credit co-ops, acting as the main financial regulator for the sector.
Cecilia Vaca, the technical secretary of the Ministry for Social Development, added that these changes in regulation are part of a more complex process of consolidating the structure of credit unions and co-operatives.
The exact number of organisations that will need to register, and associates that will be part of the system, is still unknown, but it is estimated that nearly 4,000 co-ops will register. In order to simplify the registration process for co-ops, the Superintendence is launching a website that will enable co-ops to register online. The online platform has also been introduced with the aim of cutting costs.
The transition will last throughout the whole month of October during which the Superintendence will be receiving assets, liabilities and stats on credit co-operatives from the National Directorate for Co-operatives and the National Co-operative Council.
Jeannette Sánchez, minister of the Political Economy said these changes complete a three-year process of reform, which began with the Organic Law of Public and Solidarity Economy. It continued with the institutionalisation of the organisations that make up the financial sector of the public economy and the registration of financial institutions.
Freddy Perez, national president of Cooperativas said that with the new regulations the overall number of credit co-operatives and their assets would be known, avoiding any possible fraud.
According to Geovanny Cardaso, technical secretary of the National Programme of Popular Finances (Programa Nacional de Finanzas populares), credit co-operatives have assets of $2,685 million and count on more than 5 million members.