Friday, August 2, 2013 - 07:43
New Banking Initiative
Citizens of Apeldoorn and surroundings, want to establish a cooperative bank because they are disillusioned by the mores in the current banking system. The Financial Cooperation begins today with the recruiting among citizens that want to support the bank 'new style'. The idea of the founders of The Financial Cooperation is based on NewB, the cooperative bank that is being set up since this spring in Belgium. NewB has gathered more than 43 thousand members in a few months. They each paid (at least) 20 euro for the membership of the cooperative. NewB now has a capital of over 1.2 million. To start the bank needs more money, plus a banking license. NewB is still working on that. The main initiator of the Dutch initiative is independent insurance adviser Jan Brink (45) from Apeldoorn. “I'm in the profession since 1989 and I have seen in the past 24 years that the financial world has gone through a culture change. Financial products have become increasingly complicated and ordinary people do not understand them. Many products do not serve the interests of the customer, but of the bank. With banks it is all about sales targets and to make as much profit as possible.” “We want to offer consumers a good alternative. A bank that sells simple and useful products without profit and where the directors do not receive bonuses. A cooperative is therefore the best form, because then the administration must discuss important decisions with the members. In our bank the power will be to the customers.” Amateurs The Financial Cooperation was registered on June 6 with the Chamber of Commerce. Brink is president, his colleague Joshua Klopman is the secretary and the young MBA Marit Rossing is treasurer. The Supervisory Board consists of four enthusiastic amateurs from the group of acquaintances of Brink. None of the seven has serious banking experience. Reaction Professor Jaap Koelewijn of NyenrodeBusinessUniversity thinks the new cooperative is a joke. He thinks the initiators are 'well-meaning suckers', who have no idea what they are getting in to. "Do not misunderstand me, I welcome the alternative itself, but come with a well thought business plan to the audience and not a half-baked idea." Koelewijn, who teaches Corporate Finance, thinks the initiative is unlikely to succeed. “It was started by two 'insurance farmers’ from Apeldoorn with no knowledge of banking matters. He fears that the initiative could harm confidence in the financial sector, while the promoters say that their plan was born out of dissatisfaction with the current policy and culture of the Dutch banks.