Credit Unions in Chile: What is their Role?

Fecha: 10 de octubre, 13:00 horas, sala P 302, Facultad de Economía y Negocios

Expositor: Antonio Lemus, dirección de Estudios de la Comisión para el Mercado Financiero (CMF)

This paper questions the role that credit unions play in the Chilean financial system, particularly if they allow financial inclusion and the relationship of their consumer credit supply with the state of the economy. For this purpose, using unique statistical information existing at the CMF, the credit and savings behavior of credit unions’ members is studied, with granularity at the individual level. The results indicate that credit unions effectively contribute to financial inclusion, providing financial services mostly to people with low incomes, elderly, women, and inhabitants of small communities, far from the large urban centers. We also find that unlike private banks, credit unions do not have a pro-cyclical behavior in their consumer credit supply, especially crucial during periods of economic downturn.