In Greece the legal form of co-operative bank was only introduced in 1992 in contrast to the tradition that this institution has in other countries. The creation of the legal form of co-operative bank had an immediate result because in three years ten institutions were authorised to work or they are expecting the authorisation of the Bank of Greece, in ten different Greek towns having already 30.000 members.
The purpose of this project is to examine the co-operative banks in Greece. This project must constitute the first complete study concerning this subject. After an introductory part concerning the concept and the evolution of co-operative banks in Europe, as well as the meaning given to this research on these banks, the reasons for which the co-operative banks were not created in Greece will be examined; these reasons are related to the absence of the legislative framework, the structure of the Greek banking system, the determination of the credit policy by the State, the deficiencies of the co-operative movement. The reasons for which the co-operative banks are created in Greece these last years, their functions and their structures, administrative and financial, constitute the topics of research with a parallel comparison to the other banks in Greece as well as to co-operative banks of other countries. The economic environment and especially some elements concerning its structure as the importance of the self-occupied and the small enterprises which can favour the development of the co-operative credit will be examined.
The conclusions that will result will be used to examine the perspectives of development as well as the form of function and structure that the co-operative banks can have in the future.