Guiding cooperative and mutualist principles
Accessibility, democracy, subsidiarity, solidarity
Dissemination of these values is a key driver of the CICM’s activities.
The CICM aims to facilitate access to banking services for the population of a given territory regardless of their social background or financial means.
The service must correspond from a cost and functionality perspective to the needs of the majority.
Accessibility is typified by opening branches and points of sale close to the population and adapted to local characteristics :
- setting up counters,
- opening hours,
The elected members who represent the membership convey the needs and staff members adapt their services accordingly. Thus the different CICM networks do not offer exactly the same products.
Each member has one capital share and therefore she/he becomes a beneficiary and co-owner of the bank.
The Board of Directors, composed of members elected at the General Assembly on the principal of « one man, one vote », is legally responsible for the bank’s management.
Mutual and democratic governance makes all members (elected or not) accountable for the collective management of the savings.
The complementary functions and competencies between salaried executives and elected volunteers ensures not only a balance of power, but also security.
The principle of subsidiarity is a vertical devolution of power which allows local cooperative branches to delegate part of their skills to the federations when they are unable to fulfill efficiently all their responsibilities and visa versa.
The daily management of the CICM is in and of itself an example of subsidiarity : whenever a network expresses the desire to appropriate a range of skills or tools, the CICM will transfer responsibility if it deems the network capable of taking charge.
The principle of membership is based on solidarity between members. Available savings are pooled and redistributed in the form of loans.
At the local level, members stand together if the cooperative has a deficit, similarly local cooperatives stand together within a federation.
Cooperative networks do not perceive profitability as an end in itself; they measure the social profitability of their activity.
For instance, the profits of a local branch
can finance the management of another branch which is not economically profitable, but socially useful.