National Cooperative Bank
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National Cooperative Bank (NCB) provides comprehensive banking services to cooperatives and other member-owned organizations throughout the country. What makes NCB unique is that the bank was created to address the financial needs of an underserved market niche – people who join together cooperatively to meet personal, social or business needs, especially in low-income communities.
Chartered by the 95th Congress on August 20, 1978, NCB commenced lending operations as a federal instrumentality on March 21, 1980. Congress appropriated $184 million of “seed money” in the form of U.S. Treasury Notes, which represented NCB’s initial capitalization and the government’s ownership of the bank.
In 1981, NCB was privatized as a member-owned financial institution, and the seed money was converted into subordinated debt. At that time, the Class A preferred stock of NCB previously held by the United States was converted into Class A subordinated notes as of December 31, 1981. Since then NCB has been structured as a cooperative and all capital stock has been owned by borrowers or entities eligible to borrow from NCB. The legislation requires NCB to repay the $184 million, with interest, in full by 2020. To date, NCB has reduced the loan balance down to $85 million.
NCB’s mission is to help cooperatives grow by supporting and being an advocate for America’s cooperatives and their members, placing special emphasis on serving the needs of communities that are economically challenged.
NCB’s customers are cooperatives, such as grocery wholesaler co-ops, purchasing co-ops or housing co-ops. Other customers share in the spirit of cooperation, driven by democratic organizing principles. They may be Alaska and Native American enterprises, which by their very nature, are member-run and member-owned. Others may be community health centers or charter schools, driven entirely by community needs. What they all have in common is a single fundamental principle – they have joined together cooperatively to meet personal, social, and/or business needs.
In accordance with our congressional charter, NCB has a significant commitment to community revitalization. The employment of the cooperative model in the development of business and affordable housing is critical for low-income Americans, and strengthens communities in both urban and rural areas.
What is a Co-op?
A cooperative is a business that is organized, owned and governed by the people who use its products or services. Those people are called member-owners, and they own the co-op. They share the costs, the earnings, and they also have a voice in its operations and policies through a board of directors elected from among the members.
Co-ops benefit their members by taking advantage of economies of scale, combined buying power and strength in numbers to save money and return profits. In the process, co-ops provide millions of jobs, support business and personal needs, and enhance quality of life. A cornerstone of America’s economy, co-ops have been empowering people, developing communities and supporting innovation in this country for more than 100 years.
NCB Capital Impact
NCB Capital Impact, is a national, non-profit community development financial institution. It provides financial services and technical assistance to help make high-quality housing, health care, healthy foods, and education more accessible and attainable, and eldercare more dignified and respectful. Capital Impact has used its depth of experience, cooperative approach, and diverse network of alliances to generate over $1.7 billion in critical investments that create a high quality of life for low income people and communities.