IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Corporate Governance Structures and the Comparative Advantage of Credit Unions


  • Kevin Amess
  • Barry Howcroft


The paper examines the economics of the mutual organisation and the stakeholder models of corporate governance with its emphasis on informal contracts, trust and co‐operation. These concepts are important in informal governance systems such as mutuals because they economise on transaction costs and promote efficient exchange. In this respect, the paper argues that mutuals have a comparative advantage compared with joint stock banks in ameliorating problems associated with adverse selection and moral hazard. These comparative advantages, however, are enhanced in small mutuals such as credit unions which focus on relatively small memberships with a common bond. The paper concludes by suggesting that although the credit union movement will not necessarily develop along similar lines to the building societies, it does have a future in providing banking facilities to the relatively poor and disenfranchised sectors of society.

Suggested Citation

  • Kevin Amess & Barry Howcroft, 2001. "Corporate Governance Structures and the Comparative Advantage of Credit Unions," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(1), pages 59-65, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:corgov:v:9:y:2001:i:1:p:59-65
    DOI: 10.1111/1467-8683.00226

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. José Roberto de Souza Francisco & Hudson Fernandes Amaral & Luís M. de Castro, 2013. "Corporate Governance: Value Creation And Performance In Credit Unions," Portuguese Journal of Management Studies, ISEG, Universidade de Lisboa, vol. 0(1), pages 31-54.
    2. Tschöpel, Michael, 2012. "Die Wirkungskanäle der genossenschaftlichen Eigentümermerkmale: Implikationen für das mitgliederorientierte Management in Genossenschaftsbanken," Arbeitspapiere 127, University of Münster, Institute for Cooperatives.
    3. Panu Kalmi, 2012. "Cooperative banking," Chapters, in: Jan Toporowski & Jo Michell (ed.), Handbook of Critical Issues in Finance, chapter 9, pages i-ii, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Yoshikatsu Shinozawa, 2007. "The Effect of Organisational Form on Investment Products: an empirical analysis of the UK unit trust industry," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(6), pages 1244-1259, November.
    5. Naaman, Christine & Magnan, Michel & Hammami, Ahmad & Yao, Li, 2021. "Credit unions vs. commercial banks, who takes more risk?," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 55(C).
    6. J.Cook & S.Deakin & A.Hughes, 2001. "Mutuality and Corporate Governance: The Evolution of UK Building Societies Following Deregulation," Working Papers wp205, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:corgov:v:9:y:2001:i:1:p:59-65. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley Content Delivery). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.