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JAK, the bank with points

7. Community involvement

Social investment


In 2008, in the context of a global economic crisis, new financial trends appeared. Among them, ethical and alternative European banks, in particular the Swedish bank, JAK (Jord-Arbet-Kapital, or Earth-Labour-Capital, officially recognized in 1997) whose principles are related to the real economy. It is a cooperative bank that offers an interest-free credit system, with a low cost structure based on local volunteer groups. The bank does not finance itself through international markets. In 2009, the equivalent of 82 million euros in loans were in progress.


- Provide a financial instrument that is practical, sustainable and serves the local economy.

- Remove the use of interest rates as an economic instrument.


The cooperative bank, JAK, collects the savings of its members and uses it to provide credit at zero interest. It relies on a system of awarding points-savings allowing it to remain in financial balance and compensate for the lack of interest: each month, the amount deposited by a customer to an account generates a number of “saving’s points” (in 2009, the savings factor was 1: a crown saved corresponds to one “saving’s point”). Conversely, a loan generates negative points throughout the repayment period. In a loan, the beneficiary who has not accumulated enough “saving’s points” is not only required to pay the monthly credit, but also to deposit on their account a compensatory savings the same amount as the loan. Three months after the end of the repayment, these savings can be withdrawn.

To ensure some liquidity for the institution, the borrower must also purchase the equivalent of 6% of their loan into equity in the bank ("equity deposit").  A deposit that is meant to be returned at the end of the refund. This credit system is designed for associations, businesses and communities.

In addition, to ensure the stability of the institution, the JAK bank is required to make significant savings, resulting in a lightweight structure consisting of only two agencies (in Skovde, the headquarters, and Orsa) and 27 local groups; run by 700 volunteers, they promote the bank to the general public. In 2008, 27.5 million SEK (Swedish kronor, equivalent to 2.45 million euros) in operating costs have been covered: 20% from annual membership fees (200 or 250 SEK or 18 or 23 euros per member), 70% from administrative (loan amount multiplied by the payback time multiplied to the power of 0.13). The remaining 10% are covered by the interest generated by investments of the bank (15% savings) in the Swedish government bonds.


82 millions euros in loans in progess  


 Financing of the real economy, no speculation.


Mise à jour le 20/05/2016

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