Deputy Governor Madis Müller: risks from savings and loan associations members are borne by their members



On Tuesday Eesti Pank’s Deputy Governor Madis Müller said at the cooperative banking conference in Tallinn that savings and loan associations have grown rapidly in Estonia in recent years, so it is becoming increasingly more important that members of such associations are able to independently assess the operations of and risks associated with savings and loan associations.

„The Estonia financial sector is rather banking-centred, so extra competition in the form of savings and loan associations, crowdfunding, and private and venture capital funds is a welcome phenomenon here. At the end of August, 20 savings and loan associations with a total of 9,000 members were operating in Estonia. The deposit and also loan volume of savings and loan associations has significantly increased, so accompanying risks have grown as well,” said Müller.

He emphasised that members of savings and loan associations should be aware of the operations of the associations as well as of the risks they involve. “Different from banks, savings and loan associations are not subject to oversight by the Financial Supervision Authority, and requirements to their capital and risk management are more lenient. In addition, the deposits placed with savings and loan associations are not guaranteed by the state,” Müller added.

One of the tasks of Eesti Pank is to contribute to ensuring financial stability. From this angle, savings and loan associations do not pose large risks to financial stability, since their deposit volume makes up just 0.5% of the banking sector’s total deposit volume.

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