The Power of Customer-owned Banks
Chapter 3: The evolution of credit unions
There is a particularly acute collective action problem in relation to cooperative banks. They are costly to set up, requiring much dedicated time and effort, the learning of new skills and the building up of trust among large numbers of people. It also helps to have rich supporters who can invest the start-up capital. As in Europe, so in America, it took specialist promotion by individuals who were strongly motivated and well connected, such as Alphonse Desjardins in French-speaking Canada and Edward Filene in the USA.
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