When, after the transformation of the Polish economy, Cooperative Savings and Credit Unions began to appear in our country, no one was aware that in a dozen or so years they will be such a force and will attract a huge number of customers.
Because although their history is very long and organizations of this type operate in many other countries, in our country for a long time they could not function, so a lot of people completely forgot about them. And today, credit unions have over 2.5 million members, which means that these people did not use banking services, but decided to use the services of these new institutions.
The history of credit unions in Poland is very long and dates back to the end of the 18th century. At that time, to protect themselves from loan sharks who demanded high prices for loans, people especially in rural areas began to create Credit Unions, where money could be borrowed on favorable terms. Over time, more and more similar cash registers began to form, and their members were more and more people. This development was stopped by World War II and it is only since 1992 that we note their re-development.
Credit unions currently offer almost the same offer as banks have for us. Maybe except for loans, because these products are exclusively reserved for banking institutions. But a large range of loans, deposits, insurance products, bills, deposits are fully available for this and people use them more and more often. The statistics show that the number of SKOK customers is constantly increasing every year. New SKOK branches are constantly being created, so access to their branches is getting better.
SKOK and the banking sector
One may wonder if SKOKs are a threat to the banking sector. And it seems so and even very large. For, first of all, they offer almost exactly the same products, and usually they are slightly better profitable than products in banks. In addition, credit unions often have a lot more outlets, especially in rural areas and smaller towns.
Thanks to this, the people living there no longer have to use banks, because they can arrange all financial matters in SKOK (Credit Unions). Banks must certainly take into account the existence of credit unions and carry out all their activities with thoughts about these institutions.