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date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the performance of several types of member-owned businesses since the financial crisis. It summarizes evidence for three financial co-operative sectors (European co-operative banks, the worldwide credit union sector, and the UK building societies), finding that they have been less risky, more stable, and on a range of indicators more successful than conventional investor-owned banks. It then examines the performance of retail consumer co-operatives, insurance mutuals, retailer-owned wholesalers, and employee-owned businesses. The wider benefits of having a significant member-owned sector are then considered. The conclusion is that economic resilience cannot be taken for granted: it has to be competed for in each industry sector, and the results will vary depending on the extent to which, in each sector, they can realize the ‘co-operative advantage’.

Keywords: member-owned businesses, financial crisis, economic resilience, co- operative banks, worldwide credit union, UK building societies, insurance mutuals, retailer-owned wholesalers, employee-owned businesses

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