IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Romanian Credit Unions - self-organising for financial education and inclusion


  • Vamesu, Ancuta

    (Association Solidarity Laboratory, Romania)

  • Barna, Cristina

    (Association Solidarity Laboratory, Romania)


Our paper has as objective to describe and analyse the role of the Romanian credit union sector in combating financial exclusion and delivering financial education. The paper is a development of the Working Paper N° 2015/11, published in 2015 by CIRIEC (International Centre of Research and Information on the Public, Social and Cooperative Economy): Credit Unions in Romania – a strong social enterprise model to combat financial exclusion and overindebtedness, available online at: The WP included preliminary research results of the project “ICAR - inclusion by micro-credit and mutual help†, financed by European Social Fund, regarding the general context of access to financial services in Romania, financial exclusion and over-indebtedness. The WP was an analysis of the credit union sector in Romania in the five spheres of activities: members, community, state, structure, management (MacPherson, 1999) and in a historical perspective from 18th through to 21st Century adapting and transforming, transgressing socio-economic systems, including transition from the communist regime to the current market economy context, in order to establish their stage of development. Credit unions are a significant movement in Romania registering 1.2 million members just in what is traditionally called “employee credit union†in 2569 credit unions all over the country with 3163 employees, most of which are affiliated in 40 regional unions represented at national level by National Union of Credit Unions in Romania UNCARSR. Established as non-profit associations, mutual saving societies or credit unions, they are non-banking financial institutions. Applying this theoretical framework to the Romanian credit union model enabled us to derive valuable lessons for the practitioners in the field (the work was carried out in cooperation with UNCARSR) and for policy makers given the current difficulties of access to financial services in Romania. For the research we have also used extensive documentation and practical examples from the credit union system in UK in Manchester - Liverpool area including lectures from the Research Unit for Financial Inclusion Liverpool John Moore University. This cooperation with the credit unions in UK is continuing with exchanges of practices in access to financial services for underserved communities, and their financial education including plans for development of common training materials on financial education and social impact assessment.

Suggested Citation

  • Vamesu, Ancuta & Barna, Cristina, 2017. "Romanian Credit Unions - self-organising for financial education and inclusion," Review of Applied Socio-Economic Research, Pro Global Science Association, vol. 13(1), pages 81-94, JUNE.
  • Handle: RePEc:rse:wpaper:v:13:y:2017:i:1:p:81-94

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jones, Paul A., 2008. "From tackling poverty to achieving financial inclusion--The changing role of British credit unions in low income communities," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 2141-2154, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Sholevar, Maryam & Harris, Laurence, 2019. "Mind the gap: A discussion paper on Financial Literacy, Financial behaviour and Financial Education : Is there any Gender Gap?," OSF Preprints b7zd6, Center for Open Science.
    2. Collins, J. Michael, 2013. "The impacts of mandatory financial education: Evidence from a randomized field study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 146-158.
    3. Jan Myers & Molly Scott Cato & Paul A. Jones, 2012. "An ‘alternative mainstream’? The impact of financial inclusion policy on credit unions in Wales," Public Money & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(6), pages 409-416, November.
    4. Nathanael OJONG, 2014. "Credit Unions As Conduits For Microfinance Delivery In Cameroon," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 85(2), pages 287-304, June.
    5. Evans, Olaniyi, 2015. "The Effects of Economic and Financial Development on Financial Inclusion in Africa," MPRA Paper 81325, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Ozili, Peterson Kitakogelu, 2021. "Financial inclusion-exclusion paradox: how banked adults become unbanked again," MPRA Paper 108494, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Antonio Lemus & Cristian Rojas, 2019. "Credit Unions in Chile: What is their Role?," EconomiX Working Papers 2019-27, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    8. Cristina BARNA & Ancuta VAMEsU, 2015. "Credit Unions in Romania – a strong social enterprise model to combat financial exclusion and over indebtedness," CIRIEC Working Papers 1511, CIRIEC - Université de Liège.
    9. Donal McKillop & Anne Marie Ward & John O. S. Wilson, 2011. "Credit unions in Great Britain: recent trends and current prospects," Public Money & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(1), pages 35-42, January.
    10. Ozili, Peterson K, 2020. "Optimal financial inclusion," MPRA Paper 101808, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Shruti Malik & Girish Chandra Maheshwari & Archana Singh, 2019. "Understanding Financial Inclusion in India: A Theoretical Framework Building Through SAP–LAP and Efficient IRP," Global Journal of Flexible Systems Management, Springer;Global Institute of Flexible Systems Management, vol. 20(2), pages 117-140, June.
    12. Saulo Cardoso Maia & Gideon Carvalho Benedicto & José Willer Prado & David Alastair Robb & Oscar Neto Almeida Bispo & Mozar José Brito, 2019. "Mapping the literature on credit unions: a bibliometric investigation grounded in Scopus and Web of Science," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 120(3), pages 929-960, September.

    More about this item


    financial inclusion; financial education; credit union; social enterprise;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G00 - Financial Economics - - General - - - General
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General


    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:rse:wpaper:v:13:y:2017:i:1:p:81-94. 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: . 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.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Manuela Epure (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    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.