Co-operative Banks

According to the Co-operative Banks Act No.40 of 2007 a "co-operative bank" means a co-operative registered as a co-operative bank in terms of this Act whose members—

  • are of similar occupation or profession or who are employed by a common employer or who are employed within the same business district; or
  • have common membership in an association or organisation, including a business, religious, social, co-operative, labour or educational group; or
  • reside within the same defined community or geographical area;

Types of Co-operative Banks

  • A Primary Savings Co-operative Bank;
  • A Primary Savings and Loans Co-Operative Bank;
  • A Secondary Co-operative Bank; and
  • A Tertiary Co-operative Bank.

Application for Registration as Co-operative Bank

  •  A co-operative must apply, on the application form prescribed by the supervisor, to the supervisor for registration as one of the types of co-operative banks referred above
  • The following must be submitted together with the application
    • Two certified copies of the constitution of the proposed co-operative bank;
    • A certified copy of the registration certificate as a co-operative under the Co-operatives Act of the proposed co-operative bank;
    • The full and abbreviated name of the proposed co-operative bank as well as any literal translation thereof;
    • A lending policy, if applicable;
    • A Savings Policy
    • A business Plan
    • Certified copies of the registers referred to in the Co-operatives Act
    • The postal and physical address of the proposed co-operative bank and a statement describing the suitability of the premises from which the proposed co-operative bank will operate
    •  The application fee prescribed by the supervisor

Banking Services Provided by Co-operative Banks

 Primary Co-operative Bank

A primary savings co-operative bank may only provide, participate in or undertake the following banking services:

  • Solicit and accept deposits from its members
  • Open savings accounts for its members, in the name of each member, into which that member may deposit or withdraw money and from which that member may instruct the co-operative bank to transfer or pay money
  • Borrow money from the CBDA and members, other than deposits referred to in paragraph (a), up to a percentage of the assets held by it as prescribed by the Minister
  • Open a savings account or cheque account in the name of that co-operative bank with any banking institution
  • Make, draw, accept, endorse, or negotiate negotiable instruments that are paid to the order of or made out and endorsed by that co-operative bank;
  • Provide trust or custody services to members
  • Conduct any additional banking services as may be prescribed by the Minister
  • Invest money deposited with it in investments

Secondary co-operative bank

A secondary co-operative bank may only provide the following banking services:

  • Any of the banking services referred to above
  • trading financial instruments on behalf of its members;
  • Open an account with a bank registered under the Banks Act to facilitate foreign currency transactions;
  • Conduct such additional banking services and invest money deposited with it in any investments prescribed by the Minister, in addition to those prescribed above.

Secondary co-operative bank

A tertiary co-operative bank may provide the following banking services:

  •  Any of the banking services offered by secondary and primary co-operatives
  • conduct such additional banking services and invest money deposited with it in any investments prescribed by the Minister