One in four people in Germany is a member of a cooperative organization and therefore part of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity. The power of the many is the underlying principle of our philosophy of ‘strength in numbers’.
One for all
For about 150 years, our thinking has been focused mainly on one thing: the long term. As the central institution of the cooperative financial network, our duty is solely to our owners – the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken (local cooperative banks) in Germany – and, indirectly, to their approximately 30 million customers. More than half of these customers are themselves members of their cooperative bank. The business model of our cooperative financial network is based on the cooperative principle of ‘strength in numbers’. In collaboration with our subsidiaries, we develop products for independent local cooperative banks who have been operating in their respective regions for decades and form part of the local fabric. We also act as a corporate bank for companies and institutions that need a nationwide banking partner.
Cooperative banks can look back on a long tradition of promoting corporate responsibility and sustainability. The cooperative principle itself was based on the notion that economic and social problems should be resolved collectively. This tradition is still being upheld today. In the banking sector, it is precisely the fact that there are a large number of small, independent cooperative banks that contributes to the stability of the sector. This in turn is a prerequisite for sustainable macroeconomic development.