Bank Review: The Cooperative Bank of Oromia—Everything you need to know

Bank Review: The Cooperative Bank of Oromia—Everything you need to know

The Cooperative Bank of Oromia (also known as Coopbank) is a community-oriented bank that provides banking services to individuals, cooperatives, businesses, foreigners, and Ethiopians in the Diaspora.

Coopbank has more than 567 branch networks, 8.8 million account holders, and 11,500+ employees.

It is also partners with 13 money transfer services including Western Union and Moneygram.

This article covers the products offered by the Cooperative Bank of Oromia, their benefits, and how to apply and access their features.

History and importance of Cooperative Bank of Oromia

The Cooperative Bank of Oromia (Coop bank) was born out of the need to provide financial services to people, especially farmers, living in rural areas.

Haile Gebre Lube, who is regarded as the founding father of Ethiopia cooperative societies, came up with the idea to form a financial institution that focused on providing financial aid to low-income areas.

In 2002, Haile’s idea was formally established as a project known as The Cooperative Bank of Oromia (Coopbank).

The bank gained its banking License in October 2004 and commenced operations in March 2005.

Since its establishment, Coopbank has grown its total assets to almost $2 Billion.

Majority of the bank’s shareholders belong to cooperatives owned by farmers and 5,212 cooperatives make up 67%+ of the bank’s paid-up capital.

Coopbank is one of the few banks in Ethiopia focused on providing banking services to low-income farmers, traders, etc.

The bank also has a lending service platform where petty traders and small businesses can apply for uncollateralized loans.

In March 2022, the bank donated financial aid worth $1,350,125.70 to drought-stricken areas of Oromia regional state in Ethiopia.

Services offered by The Cooperative Bank of Oromia

The Cooperative Bank of Oromia (Coopbank) offers banking services that fit anyone’s needs.

They are split into 4 categories: conventional banking, cooperative banking, diaspora banking, and interest-free banking.

Coopbank’s conventional banking products

This covers the savings accounts and loan services offered to individuals and businesses in Ethiopia. They are:

Demand deposit accounts

These are accounts suited for individuals or businesses that deposit or withdraw money frequently.

There are 2 types of demand deposit accounts: ordinary demand deposit and special demand deposit.

Ordinary demand deposit accounts do not earn any interest. A minimum amount of Birr 500 ($9.64) is required to open an individual account and a minimum of Birr 100 ($19.29) is required to open a business account.

Some of the features and benefits of demand deposit accounts are:

  • The owner can authorise a legal agent to open and operate a deposit account on their behalf.
  • Deposit accounts make it easier to carry out business transactions as they allow people to make direct payments to beneficiaries' accounts.
  • There are no restrictions on the number and amount of deposits and withdrawals.

Fixed-time deposit accounts

Fixed-time deposit accounts are accounts opened for a certain period of time.

The interest paid on the account depends on the amount deposited in the account and the duration of the certificate of deposit.

Some of the features and benefits of fixed-time accounts are:

  • Fixed-time deposit accounts enjoy a higher interest rate than other accounts.
  • A certificate of deposit (CD) is issued to the depositor
  • Fixed-time deposit accounts must have a minimum of Birr 500,000 ($9,643.76) in the account.
  • Money can't be withdrawn until the account’s maturity date.
  • The account can be renewed but it does not earn interest after the agreement has expired.

Saving deposit accounts

Savings deposit accounts are suited for individuals interested in saving or making local payments in Ethiopia.

Examples of savings deposit accounts are Regular Savings Account, Sinqe Women Savings Account, Youth Savings Account, Gamme-Junior Account, Special Savings Account, Gudunfa Savings Accounts, and Farmers’ Savings Account.

The use, features, and benefits of these accounts differ, but they have these things in common:

  • Saving deposit accounts earn interest.
  • Savings deposit accounts are used to save and make everyday transactions.
  • No minimum amount is required to open the account.

You can open a conventional savings account by downloading an account opening form here and submitting the filled form at any Coopbank branch.

Loan and advance services

These are loans mostly offered to businesses at an interest rate determined by the bank.

Some of the loans and advances offered by Coopbank are:

To apply for a Coopbank loan, simply visit a Cooperative of Oromia bank branch near you.

Diaspora banking

Coopbank’s diaspora banking products cover the savings account and loans offered to foreigners and Ethiopians living abroad.

Diaspora current account

A diaspora current account can transact in Birr, USD, Euro and GBP.

Some of the features and benefits of a Coopbank diaspora current account are:

  • Free withdrawals for foreign currency transactions
  • Free transactions across all CoopBank branches
  • The account can be managed through chequebooks and Coopbank’s e-banking platforms
  • You can get access to credit facilities and support from your assigned personal banker.

Diaspora savings account

A diaspora savings account is a deposit account with high-interest rates.

You can use this account to make foreign transactions and receive money in foreign currency.

Some of the features and benefits of the account are:

  • The money in the account can serve as collateral for personal loans and advances.
  • The account earns interest and it is available in both ETB and foreign currency (USD, GBP & EURO).
  • You are assigned a personal banker to help with any banking issues.

Diaspora fixed-time account

A diaspora fixed-time account is a high-interest earning account opened for a fixed period of time.

It must be opened for a minimum of 3 months and the money can only be withdrawn after the maturity date.

Some of the features and benefits of the account are:

  • A minimum amount of $100 is required to open the account
  • The interest earned on the account is tax-free.
  • The interest is paid only if the account is maintained for at least 3 months

Ethiopian Citizen or Origin Living in Foreign Land (ECOLFL) Savings Account

This is a local currency savings account used for personal emergencies, local transactions, and business payments.

This account is for non-resident Ethiopians or non-resident foreign nationals of Ethiopian origin.

Some of the features and benefits of the account are:

  • Couples can open a joint ECOLFL Savings Account.
  • Deposits are made in foreign currency (Dollar, Euro or Pound Sterling).
  • The account can also be credited via SWIFT or money transfer agents
Requirements
  • You must be at least 18years old
  • A renewed passport for non-resident Ethiopians or renewed passport and yellow card for foreigners of Ethiopian Origin
  • Residence and/or work permit,
  • Bank account statement from foreign sources (optional)
  • For businesses, authenticated certificate of ownership entitlement of the business and/or article and memorandum of association.

You can download the ECOFL form here and submit the filled form and required documents at a nearby Coopbank branch.

Non-resident accounts

Non-resident accounts are for foreigners, international organisations, and diplomatic mission offices and their staff( except for Ethiopian nationals).

These accounts are maintained in Birr and can be used to carry out foreign transactions without approval from the National Bank of Ethiopia.

There are 3 types of non-resident accounts:

  1. Non-Resident Foreign Currency accounts
  2. Non-Resident Non-Transferable Birr accounts
  3. Non-Resident Transferable Birr account

Diaspora mortgage/home loan

A diaspora mortgage loan is a long-term loan for Ethiopians in the Diaspora to buy, lease or build a home in Ethiopia.

The loan’s interest rate starts from 8.5%per annum and it can last up to 20years.

Requirements
  • An application letter explaining the purpose of the loan
  • A duly filled and signed application loan
  • A valid passport and/or identification card.
  • Businesses must present certificates of ownership entitlement for the organization and/or Articles and Memorandum of Association, etc.

You can apply for a diaspora mortgage loan by visiting the nearest Coopbank branch with the required documents.

Diaspora automobile loan

A diaspora automobile loan is used for purchasing or leasing a car.

The loan has a repayment period of 10 months and it can only be taken on cars that are younger than 7years old.

Requirements
  • Filled and signed loan application forms
  • A valid passport and/or identification card.
  • Businesses must present a certificate of ownership entitlement and Articles and Memorandum of Association.
  • Invoice or quotation from the dealer / vendors
  • The vehicle needs to be ensured throughout the terms of the loan.

You need to visit the nearest Coopbank branch to apply for an automobile loan.

Diaspora personal loan

Diaspora personal loans are suited for urgent financial needs like medical expenses, tuition fees, travel application fees, etc.

A Coop Bank diaspora personal loan has a maximum repayment period of 5 years. The following people can apply for the loan:

  • Non-resident Ethiopian Nationals living and working outside Ethiopia.
  • Non-resident foreign nationals of Ethiopian origin.
  • Companies owned by the above-mentioned non-residents and located outside the Ethiopian territory for more than one year.
  • Ethiopian nationals living and working abroad and who can produce authenticated documents

Simply visit a Coopbank branch near you to apply for a diaspora personal loan.

Diaspora investment financing

These are loans targeted at companies and Ethiopians in the Diaspora interested in building businesses in Ethiopia.

Diaspora investment financing loans can be used to purchase capital assets, finance projects, etc.

Requirements
  • The loan application forms must be properly filled and signed by the applicant
  • A valid passport and/or identification card
  • TIN and land certificate/lease agreement documents
  • An approved construction plan and project proposal
  • Memorandum and article of association (optional)

Simply visit a Coopbank branch to apply for Diaspora savings and loan services.

Cooperative banking

Coopbank offers savings account and loan services to different cooperatives based in Ethiopia. Some of the products are:

Cooperative saving products

These are deposit products that help cooperatives keep their money.

There are 3 types of Coopbank cooperative saving products: demand deposit, saving deposit, and fixed time deposit.

Demand Deposit accounts do not earn interest and a minimum amount of ETB 1,000($19.47) is required to open the account.

On the other hand, saving deposit accounts and fixed-time deposit accounts earn interest.

The main difference between the two is that fixed-time deposit accounts are only opened for a certain period of time.

Cooperatives need the following documents to open a Coopbank cooperative savings product:

  • Certificate of registration issued by the appropriate body
  • Approved and registered bylaw of the cooperative with each page bearing the official stamp of the registering body and a cooperative.
  • Minutes of resolution from the cooperative committee.
  • A letter of request by the chairperson to open and operate the current account;
  • A valid and renewed ID of authorized person/s.
  • Support letter from the cooperative promotion agency which states details of the signatories.

Cooperative financing/loans

These are loans and credit facilities offered to cooperatives. The loans offered by Coopbank to cooperatives are:

  • Working capital loans
  • Agriculture mechanisation
  • Agriculture processing
  • Export Financing Facilities

Cooperatives Capacity Building and Advisory Services

In addition to savings and loan products, Coopbank partners with local and international NGO’s to offer training sessions to different cooperatives.

Coopbank’s aim is to improve financial inclusion in Ethiopia and help cooperatives properly manage their funds.

Some of the advisory services offered by Coopbank are:

  • Training and education/awareness creation
  • Advocacy on adapting best practices (knowledge transfer) and creating model cooperatives
  • Linking with developmental partners for technical and financial support
  • Organizing cooperatives’ workshops and forums

Interest-free banking (Coopbank Alhuda)

These are sharia-compliant savings and loan products offered to individuals and businesses.

These products are known as Coopbank Alhuda services. Some examples of Coopbank Alhuda products are:

Wadiah savings account

A Wadiah savings account is like a regular savings account but it does not earn interest.

The bank holds the money for the owner and returns the full amount once requested. A minimum amount of Birr 50($0.97) is required to open the account.

Wadiah current account

A Wadi’ah current account is similar to the conventional current account but it does not earn interest.

A minimum of Birr 500($9.64) is required to open an individual account and a minimum of Birr 1000($19.29) is required to open a business account.

Mudarabah saving account

A Mudarabah saving account is a sharia-compliant investment account.

The owner deposits a set amount of money which is used by the bank to invest in halal businesses.

A minimum amount of Birr 500($9.47) is required to open the account.

Cooperative Mudarabah saving account

A Cooperative Mudarabah savings account is owned by a group of people and it is used to save and invest in sharia-compliant retail, wholesale, production, manufacturing, etc, business enterprises.

Labbaik Mudarabah Saving Account, IFB Foreign Currency Deposit Products, Interest-free financing products, etc., are other examples of other Coopbank’s interest-free products.

To apply for an interest-free product, simply visit a Coopbank branch near you.

How to access The Cooperative Bank of Oromia’s services

Coopbank’s savings and loan products can be accessed in 3 ways: mobile banking, card banking, and Michu.

Coopbank’s card banking

This is the use of Coopbank’s cards to access its products and services. Coop bank cards can be used at Coopbank’s agent locations and ATMs to:

  • Access your Coopbank account 24/7
  • Transfer funds to different accounts
  • Withdraw cash
  • Balance inquiry
  • Make local payments

You can easily find a Coopbank agent or a Coopbank ATM near you.

Coopbank’s mobile banking (Coopay-Ebirr)

This is the use of internet to access Coopbank’s services.

It can be done via a USSD code, a mobile app, and an internet portal on Coopbank's website.

With Coopay-Ebirr, you can:

  • Purchase airtime ‘
  • Make local payments
  • Pay bills
  • Check account history

How to register and use Cooperative Bank of Oromia mobile banking (Coopay-Ebirr)

To register, simply dial *841# on your mobile phone or visit its online portal here.

You can also register by downloading the Cooperative Bank of Oromia mobile bank app which is available on both Android and IOS devices.

After registering, you would be given a User ID and password to access your account.

Michu

Coopbank launched Michu to allow petty traders and small business owners apply for uncollateralised loans.

The service was launched in partnership with Kifiya Financial Technologies in January 2022. Some of the features and benefits of Michu are:

  • Loans have a maximum repayment period of 1-4 months for petty traders and 1 year for small and medium businesses.
  • The maximum amount that can be borrowed is ETB 30,000($584.23) for petty traders and ETB 150,000($2,887.96) for small businesses.
  • The loan can be used to fund working capital requirements on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis

How to send money to Ethiopia with Coopbank

You can use Coopbank to send money to Ethiopia in 2 ways: via SWIFT or International money transfer operators.

Coopbank’s SWIFT code is CBORETAA and the recipient must have a Coopbank account.

Coopbank works with the following money transfer operators:

Western Union

Banana Pay (Tawakal)

Transfast

Amal Express

MoneyGram

Olympic

Dahabshiil

Worldremit

Ria 


Frequently asked questions

What is the Cooperative Bank of Oromia phone number

+251-1151-50229

What is Cooperative Bank of Oromia’s contact details

Headquarters: Africa Avenue, Flamingo Area, Get House Building

Phone: +251115150229

Fax: +251 11 515 0489

Toll Number: 8518

Email address: info@coopbankoromia.com.et

How many Cooperative Bank of Oromia branches are there in 2022

There are 567 Cooperative Bank of Oromia branches.

Cooperative Bank of Oromia online portal

You can visit Coopbank’s online portal here.

All you need is a User ID and password, which you can get by registering here, dialling *841#, or by visiting a Coopbank branch near you.

What is the Cooperative Bank of Oromia website

You can visit its website here.

What is Cooperative Bank of Oromia’s customer care line

+251-11-515-0229

Where can I download the Cooperative Bank of Oromia mobile banking app

You can download Coopbank’s mobile app from the Playstore and Appstore.

What are Cooperative Bank of Oromia’s social media handles

You can interact with The Cooperative Bank of Oromia on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Telegram, and Linkedin.

What is Cooperative Bank of Oromia SWIFT code

CBORETAA

Where is the Cooperative Bank of Oromia loan calculator

You can access Cooobank’s online calculator here.

Conclusion

The Cooperative Bank of Oromia is one of the few banks in Ethiopia that focuses on providing services to cooperatives and small business owners.

It also offers conventional and interest-free products to individuals and businesses.

You need to visit a Coopbank branch with the required documents to open an account.

Sources

https://coopbankoromia.com.et/

https://banksethiopia.com/banks/cooperative-bank-of-oromia/