February 4, 2023

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15 billion in member accounts: - Holds half of Norway's cash reserves

15 billion in member accounts: – Holds half of Norway’s cash reserves

December 1 is almost here and Christmas is just a few weeks away. Norwegians’ wallets are struggling to make ends meet these days as they face rising interest rates, skyrocketing electricity prices and rising food prices.

Sipho report Loving time during Ascension II It shows that the proportion of financially secure households has dropped from 65 percent in 2021 to 49 percent in 2022.

Are you struggling with the rising cost of living and want to talk about your situation in the media? Contact the journalist here.

increased after the pandemic

More Norwegians care less, and save where they can. Picking up where you can can also be a trick.

In Norway, two million of us are members of Coop’s customer club – and pay into the grocery chain’s membership accounts.

Nord24 Coop Nord announced on Tuesday morning that it owes its members more than a billion. Across the country as a whole, the amount is significantly higher.

– Coop’s co-owners today invest approximately 15 billion in cooperatives, and this has increased since the pandemic, says Harald Kristiansen, Coop’s communications manager.

Kristiansen points out that many people deliberately use the Coop as a bank for their savings.

– Unlike customer clubs, you earn interest on the money you keep in your membership account at Coop. It’s not like people forgot they had 15 billion people. 15 billion in large savings. People put their money in a Coop account because we have competitive interest rates, says Christiansen.

Membership in Coop’s customer club costs NOK 300. If you choose to withdraw this money, you will lose membership benefits.

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– Half of Norway has cash reserves

Magne Gundersen, consumer economist at Sberbank 1, points out that this is a large amount of money that people have at their disposal.

– It’s invisible savings, about half of Norway’s cash reserves.

At the same time, the economist emphasizes that it’s easy to forget money because you don’t see it in your own mobile bank and have to log into an app or website to check the amount.

– My advice is to check what you have and use the money. You can only use your balance in Coop or other customer clubs now.

– You might have an extra thousand or two. It’s especially useful in the run-up to Christmas, he adds.

– Coop says people deposit money into Coop and use the account as savings. What do you think about that?

– It’s okay to leave money, just don’t forget it. With today’s inflation, there’s no way interest rates are keeping pace with price increases, Gundersen points out.

– Competitors belong to two or three rich families

The interest rate varies depending on which co-op you’re a co-op with, says Christiansen.

– We stand out from our competitors. Through cooperatives, Coop is owned by more than two million Norwegians, as opposed to our competitors who are owned by two or three wealthy families. People have a slightly different ownership relationship with Coop than competitors, he adds.

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But you can withdraw money from the cooperative account and deposit it in your spending account.

In January, the store chain also receives its annual dividend payment. In January 2022 The grocery chain paid out 1.3 billion in dividends.

– When we pay dividends in January, many take the money and trade, others let it grow in the account.

Getting the money back is pretty straightforward, Christiansen says.

– You must enter via Coop.no, log in to my site and use BankID.

There was NOK 860 in the account

In northern Norway, many consumers were surprised when they checked the amount in their membership accounts.

– I have NOK 860, says Matthias Praseth to Nord24.no, and he is lucky that the journalists reminded him that he might have money in the account.

Yngve Haldorsen, managing director of Coop Nord, tells the newspaper that he is not worried about a massive refund.

– But history shows that it didn’t happen, so I’m relaxed about it, he adds.

Christiansen insists that cooperatives that receive deposits from their members are obligated to be members of the cooperative’s guaranty fund.

– Those who have money with us participate in the deposit scheme just like banks. They can trust that their money is safe. That’s the most important thing, says Halldorson.

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