Co-operative bank, in a nutshell, provides financial assistance to the people with small means to protect them from the debt trap of the moneylenders. It is a part of vast and powerful structure of co-operative institutions which are engaged in tasks of production, processing, marketing, distribution, servicing and banking in India.
A co-operative bank is a financial entity which belongs to its members, who are at the same time the owners and the customers of their bank. Co-operative banks are often created by persons belonging to the same local or professional community or sharing a common interest. These banks generally provide their members with a wide range of banking and financial services (loans, deposits, banking accounts…). Co-operative banks differ from stockholder banks by their organization, their goals, their Values and their governance.
The Co-operative Banking System in India is characterized by a relatively comprehensive network to the grass root level. This sector mainly focuses on the local population and micro- banking among middle and low income strata of the society. These banks operate mainly for the benefit of rural areas, particularly the agricultural sector.