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Competitive Advantages and Challenges in the Italian Cooperative Credit System


  • Mitja Stefancic


Cooperative credit banks were established in the mid-19th century to overcome problems of opportunistic behaviour by borrowers. In Italy, they are currently playing a major role for the financial system and for the economy. They provide credit to individuals and households, as well as capital to small firms from sectors such as agriculture. These banks relate to a cooperative credit network that grants them an adequate level of competitiveness in the market. By effectively implementing democratic principles of governance and by focusing on relationship banking, they foster responsible behaviour, a crucial concept in times of crisis. This paper accounts for both the competitive advantages and the challenges faced by Italian cooperative credit banks. It suggests that a better understanding of their specifics would help to highlight the contribution of a sound cooperation to economics. Finally, it provides policy recommendations for a qualitative supervision of cooperative banks in order to increase the stability of the financial system.

Suggested Citation

  • Mitja Stefancic, 2010. "Competitive Advantages and Challenges in the Italian Cooperative Credit System," STUDI ECONOMICI, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2010(102), pages 89-106.
  • Handle: RePEc:fan:steste:v:html10.3280/ste2010-102004

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    Cited by:

    1. Mitja Stefancic, 2014. "Investigating Management Turnover in Italian Cooperative Banks," Journal of Entrepreneurial and Organizational Diversity, European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises, vol. 3(1), pages 131-163, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • P13 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Cooperative Enterprises


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