Co-operative Financial Institute

WCN is in the process of submitting and registering a Co-operative Financial Institute (CFI) with the South African Reserve Bank and is looking for eager and ambitious members who share our vision of asset ownership and generational wealth creation.

A CFI is a stokvel that is legalised and enjoys the protection of the government and the law. To ensure that the rights and interest of all members are protected, a co-operative must adhere to certain legal requirements.

A CFI is the umbrella term for a member-based, deposit taking financial co-operative, owned and controlled by its members, who share a common bond. Members may choose to call themselves either a Credit Union, Savings and Credit Co-operative (SACCO), Financial Services Co-operative (FSC) or Financial Co-operative (FC).

A large group of South Africans have been part of unregistered Co-operative Financial Intuitions (CFIs) in the form of stokvels. South Africa has about 820,000 stokvels which saves a total estimated value of R44 billion annualy. This is proof that we do not have a savings problem, but rather lack the knowledge of turning these savings into investment opportunities, and WCN is working on filling this gap.

The joining fee to become a WCN member is R250.00 and a minimum share capital for the CFI is R1000.00 and guarantees each member 1 voting right. Members who wish to acquire a larger share capital may do so, however this does not increase their voting right, but rather their dividend share. Members are encouraged to make minimum deposits of R500.00 each month into their savings accounts to ensure liquidity and create a lucrative capital for credit facilities. A no-withdrawal policy will apply for the first three years to ensure the CFI remains liquid. Members will however receive dividends from profits (interest) accrued.  The more you save the larger your dividend share.

Planned Services and Products for members

  1. Deposits
  2. Savings Accounts with interest above inflation
  3. Loans:
    • Personal Loans with preferential interest rates that do not discriminate through credit scores
    • Home Loans
    • Home equity loans
    • Business Loans
  4. Affordable Insurance
  5. Bank Guarantee
  6. Consultancy

Members earn higher interest on saving and can borrow at a lower interest.

CFIs are not for profit but for service to its members and also has lower fees than the banks

The board of directors of a CFI are elected by the members.

A CFI is an institution that encourages savings in order to provide responsible credit and other services to its members.

A CFI is a member-centric institution driven by service to its members to improve the economic and social well-being of all members.

A CFI is democratically owned institution with each member enjoying equal rights to vote (one member one vote).

CFIs offer many of the same products and services as commercial banks; however they may differ in a number of ways.

The surplus at end of financial year may be distributed amongst its members or towards improving services required by members.