Generally, groups of people who pool their saved money and lend it on favorable terms to members seeking credit. The business is run by elected cooperatives, often on a part-time basis (as a second job). In the USA, there are about 25,000 such institutes, almost exclusively in the agricultural sector. – In Germany, they are known as cooperative banks and are legally constituted in their own way. – See three-pillar model, eLolly, investment club, credit cooperative, credit intermediation platform, margin call, peer-to-peer lending, social lending platform, Volksbank. – Cf. BaFin Annual Report 2004, p. 113 (statistics), BaFin Annual Report 2007, p. 121 (changes at cooperative banks).
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