BPDC: Costa Rica’s Worker-Owned Bank
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Banco Popular (Banco Popular y de Desarrollo Comunal, BPDC) is a cooperative bank that is owned and managed by the workers of Costa Rica. Its diverse clients include workers, farmers, enterprises, and a variety of development associations. Workers who hold a savings account for over one year have the right to shared ownership in the bank while employers and workers together contribute to the bank’s capital base. The governing body of BPDC is a democratically elected Worker’s Assembly comprised of 290 representatives from among the bank’s worker-owners. The assembly advises on strategic guidelines and procedures for the day-to-day actions of the BPDC and selects four of the bank’s seven board members. BPDC aims to combine commercial and developmental functions to achieve environmental and social good along with financial returns.