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BSA supports 4th academic workshop on financial mutuals

The fourth academic workshop on the future of financial mutuals was held in Milan on 1 December.

The academic workshops on the future of financial mutuals were instigated by the BSA in 2017 to encourage and support research into financial mutuals and to grow the network of interested academics, as the majority of research in banking is based on shareholder-owned banks. 

The workshop continues to grow in terms of numbers and standing. We were delighted to be hosted by the Centre for the Study of Cooperative Banks at the Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan. 

The event was held in conjunction with Bayes Business School, University of London, and Federcasse, the Italian Federation of Cooperative Credit Banks, as well as the BSA.

Academics attended from universities in the UK, Italy, Spain, Germany and the USA. The event was covered by the Italian media, including Il sole 24 Ore, their equivalent of the FT. There were also keynote speeches from the Bank of Italy and the EACB.

Papers that were presented at the workshop covered a wide range of topics from an international perspective, including:

  • the role of cooperatives in poverty reduction, finding that there was less income inequality in regions where there were more cooperative bank branches.
  • the contribution of cooperative banks to financial stability, finding that cooperatives have less volatile earnings than listed banks, and that they contribute positively to financial stability.
  • whether digital transformation diminished relationship lending, finding that cooperative banks enhance access to credit, even though digitisation mitigates this effect.
  • the proportionality of bank regulation – proposing that otherwise uniform rules on capital and liquidity could be made more proportionate in how they are applied, for example through simpler calculations or lighter reporting requirements.

We are looking forward to building on the growing momentum that we have seen over recent years and develop the network of interested researchers at future conferences.

To find out more contact: Andrew Gall, Head of Savings and Economics at the BSA