The European Network of Credit Unions urged the Platform on Sustainable Finance of the European Commission to consider credit unions and the credit union not-for-profit cooperative model to be classified as their own social taxonomy based on the social benefits that credit unions provide to society.
The Platform on Sustainable Finance issued its Final Report on Social Taxonomy wherein it is focused on aligning the structure of a suggested social taxonomy more closely to the existing environmental taxonomy.
In the letter ENCU suggests that credit unions should be designated as their own social taxonomy because their cooperative structure lends itself to different behavior than investor-owned financial institutions and that difference in behavior produces substantial benefits to the world’s millions of credit union members, to non-members, and the economy as a whole.
Access to affordable, reliable and self-sustainable financial services improves lives on many different levels and credit unions work to expand services to people of all income levels. This makes credit unions uniquely positioned to drive how the financial services industry can better foster financial inclusion. Credit unions model places the interests of their members top of mind, prioritizing personable, altruistic service. The “people helping people” philosophy is at the cored of their “DNA” which operates to the social benefit of all. Financial inclusion and the nexus with sustainable communities is embodied by the credit union cooperative model.
The letter also notes the work of Donore Credit Union in Ireland wherein it has documented the social benefits of its credit union to society. Their study documents that for every EUR 1 equivalent invested into Donore Credit Union, in the region of EUR 10 of social value was created. This is an astounding number that could only be accomplished by the unique cooperative model afforded by a credit union.
A copy of the ENCU comment letter can be viewed here.