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Bank for Cooperatives

Bank for Cooperatives

What Is the Bank for Cooperatives?

The Bank for Cooperatives was a government-sponsored bank with an order to give financed credit to the American agricultural sector. The Bank for Cooperatives was initially settled through the Farm Credit Act of 1933. In 1989, 11 of the 13 Banks for Cooperatives merged to form CoBank. CoBank started operations with $12 billion in assets, $9 billion in loans outstanding, and $807 million in financial capital.

The two leftover Banks for Cooperatives (in Springfield, Massachusetts and St. Paul, Minnesota) have kept on working as separate elements. In 2012, CoBank merged with U.S. AgBank.

CoBank offers financial types of assistance to cooperatives, agribusinesses, rural public utilities, and other farm credit associations. CoBank additionally gives leasing services to agricultural cooperatives, Farm Credit associations, rural communications, energy and water systems, and agricultural producers.

CoBank is part of the Farm Credit System (FCS), which Congress formed in 1916 to give trustworthy credit to the American agricultural sector. There are four banks and 68 associations that make up the Farm Credit System. The System serves each of the 50 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Grasping the Bank for Cooperatives

Under the FCS structure, CoBank is responsible for giving credit and other financial services to borrowers in the domestic agricultural sector, including farmers, farmers, rural cooperatives, and other people who are eligible to borrow from the System. CoBank has a particular spotlight on farmer-claimed cooperatives, which incorporates helping them in their efforts to export products internationally.

The four banks in the System fund-raise by selling securities in the national and international money markets. They then pivot and loan this money to the associations that are part of the System, which thusly loan to U.S. farmers, farmers, and other eligible borrowers.

Toward the finish of 2019, the total loan portfolio of the Farm Credit System was $287 billion. The FCS additionally represented 43% of farm sector debt in 2019. Altogether, the FCS gives production agriculture in the U.S. with over 30% of its credit and financial requirements. The System is financed by government borrowing and taxation.

CoBank is one of the Farm Credit System's four banks. It is organized as an agricultural credit bank (ACB), while the other three banks — AgriBank, FCB, AgFirst Farm Credit Bank, and Farm Credit Bank of Texas — are organized as farm credit banks (FCBs). As an agricultural credit bank (ACB), CoBank has similar specialists as the farm credit banks, plus a few extra specialists. CoBank can make loans to agricultural, sea-going, and public utility cooperatives, as well as financing U.S. agricultural exports and giving international banking services to farmer-possessed cooperatives.

CoBank offers a great many services, including collateral custody services and discounted loan terms. The bank is likewise authorized to finance agricultural exports and aid international transactions including foreign currencies. A portion of the many stated objectives and values of the Bank for Cooperatives are keeping up with its independence and majority rule control by its individuals, giving instructive and training resources to individuals and the overall population, supporting for the interests of the agricultural sector, and advancing sustainable practices in the networks it serves.

History of the Bank for Cooperatives

With an end goal to safeguard domestic agriculture, the United States government made a series of institutions to support American farmers during the administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. These reforms formed part of President Roosevelt's New Deal program, which was intended to advance economic recovery in the wake of the Great Depression.

American farmers were among the most intensely impacted by the Depression, which harmonized with a period of extreme dust storms that devastated critical tracts of farmland. This natural disaster, which has come to be known as the Dust Bowl, contributed to Roosevelt's decision to sponsor the agricultural sector through the Farm Credit System and different measures.

Customarily, private banks have been hesitant to loan to the agricultural sector since farming activities are frequently seen as being helpless against both lower-cost international competition and eccentric natural factors, like abnormal climate occasions, nuisances, and crop sicknesses.


  • The Bank for Cooperatives was a government-sponsored bank whose order was to give financed credit to the American agricultural sector.
  • Large numbers of the sponsorships given to the American agricultural sector originated from the New Deal legislative reforms put in place during Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration.
  • CoBank is part of the Farm Credit System, which Congress formed in 1916 to give reliable credit to the American agricultural sector.
  • In 1989, 11 of the 13 Banks for Cooperatives merged to form CoBank.