Presentation and objectives

In September 2015, the Institute of Administration for Entreprises IAE de Paris and the Group BPCE, by the intermediation of the Fédération Nationale des Banques Populaires and the Fédération Nationale des Caisses d’Epargne, decided to combine their forces to create a Research Chair dedicated to the Management and the Governance of Financial Cooperatives. The Chair will do applied research, directly linked with the real world issues.


A Chair with three objectives:

  • To federate and to develop knowledge on the functioningof financial cooperatives
  • To provide decision –makers and banking professionals with sound and objective arguments to enrich the discussion with the Regulation Authorities ( policy paper), in partnership with the LABEX REFI (laboratory of excellence on financial regulation)
  • To identify the financial cooperatives specificities within the banking sector


Research topics chosen for a direct implementation in the field

Unique in its domain, the Chair has set four main axes for its research activity:

Axis 1: The governance in financial cooperatives

Following a study published in 2014, we support the following conclusion: the decisive influence of governance on the management structures. Starting from this basic premise, we will focus our attention to identify the fundamental characteristics of the governance model

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Axis 2: The social value of financial cooperatives

The financial cooperatives present specific models of governance and objectives that will determine their relationship with their territory. The research aims to understand and identify the mechanism that links financial cooperatives' activity and the creation of social value. Additionally, the research investigates the methods for the evaluation and the measure of the social value in order to appraise the issues related to financial cooperatives' performance.

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Axis 3: The risk management model

Some cooperative institutions are characterized by a decentralised organisation with a multiplication of the decision-making centres. This organisation is certainly a major advantage in terms of reactivity but is also a disadvantage for the regulation authorities. In this third line, we will take into account several topics such as risk policies, the building of an appropriate control tool, the assurance of an effective reporting scheme, as well as the point of view of external regulators and rating agencies on this specific organisation.

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Axis 4: The effect of digitalization on banking cooperatives

This axis focuses on the evolution of the workers’ and clients’ relationship vis à vis financial cooperatives: Do clients and workers of a financial cooperative make a distinction between these organizations and traditional capitalist financial organizations? How do financial cooperatives embrace the turn towards digitalization and respond to the 20% yearly decline of clients’ visits into physical agencies? To what extent does digitalization transform the relationship between financial cooperatives and their clients? How does the digitalization transform the organization? Does it inevitably lead to downsizing decisions? Or, to what extent can it be used in innovative ways in order to restore proximity with clients who are also the organizations’ owners? How can it affect the way democratic principles are applied within these organizations?

See more about the Axis 4: The effect of digitalization on banking cooperatives