Title: Credit unions in Croatia: challenges ahead and far forward

Authors: Jakša Krišto; Ingrid Omerzo; Ivana Zec

Addresses: Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb, Trg J.F. Kennedy 6, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia ' Croatian Bureau of Statistics, Ilica 3, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia ' Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb, Trg J.F. Kennedy 6, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia

Abstract: Credit unions as one of the prominent examples of mutual or cooperative societies in the financial sector share important tasks ranging from financial intermediation for different affinity groups, fostering financial inclusion and community development to social cohesion. In CEE countries, the mutual and cooperative sector in general and credit unions, as well, are less developed compared to advanced economies. This is due to historical and political reasons but also because of competitiveness in the financial sector, financial integration, regulatory requirements, low level of consumer protection and financial literacy. Low interest rate environment, digitalisation, development of the FinTech sector and demanding regulatory compliance could pose diverse effects on prospects of development of credit unions. The aim of this paper is to discuss development prospects of credit unions in Croatia from the perspective of regulatory changes, contemporary challenges in the financial sector, role in society and consumer perspective.

Keywords: credit unions; community development; financial inclusion; digitisation; Croatia.

DOI: 10.1504/IJDIPE.2020.111017

International Journal of Diplomacy and Economy, 2020 Vol.6 No.2, pp.139 - 155

Received: 07 Mar 2020
Accepted: 22 May 2020

Published online: 14 Oct 2020 *

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