The Co-operative Movement in Cyprus, considered as one of the most well organized and the strongest in the world, was introduced at the beginning of the 20th Century and the first Co-operative Society was founded in 1909. In 1937 the Co-operative Central Bank was founded. Its purpose was to provide credit for those member societies that are in need, through self-financing within the Co-operative Movement.
According to the Constitution of Cyprus and the Treaty of Establishment enacted in 1959 when Cyprus acquired its independence, both the Cyprus Co-operative Central Bank and the Co-operative Movement on the island were split into two separate parts, as Turkish and Greek Cypriot.
Today, at the center of the Co-operative credit system of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is the Cyprus Turkish Co-operative Central Bank Ltd.(Koopbank), which was established in 1959 as a tertiary Co-operative Society. Members of the Bank are the Co-operative Societies, which are obliged by the Co-operative Law to deposit their liquid funds with the Bank. Koopbank, in addition to its obligation to comply with the Co-operative Societies Law and Rules, is at the same time subject to the Banking Law of 2001.
Today, Koopbank acts as the central banker to the local co-operative societies by giving loans to those societies in need and accepting deposits from those with surplus funds. It is the lender of last resort for co-operative societies involved in banking activities.
To assist the agricultural development, it provides government-subsidized loans directly to the farmers and live-stock breeders. These loans are usually long-term and at low rates of interest.
Through its agricultural oriented subsidiaries, it provides a whole range of agricultural requisites including fertilizers, insecticides, machinery and equipment for farmers usually on credit basis until the ingathering of the crop.
As part of its strategy to provide services as an integrated financial services group, the Bank offers insurance services through its subsidiary, Şeker Insurance Kıbrıs Ltd. It also provides financing of farmers for land development and land leveling as well as financing the local authorities and the State for several of their projects.
As well as the above specialised services, Koopbank offers a comprehensive range of retail, corporate and foreign banking services through its 19 branches and its numerous correspondents abroad. It is the major bank in the financial system of the country in terms of its size and the use of technology, such that at least one person from each household is a customer of the vast cooperative financial system provided together by Koopbank and the member cooperative societies.
In its dedication to best serve its customers and member societies, Koopbank has continuously been working towards improving its service quality and expanding the range of its products and services to meet the ever-changing demands.