Mutable history of credit cooperation in Plungė (1893–1949)

Vladas Terleckas

Based on original sources, the history of credit cooperation in Plungė is analysed in detail. The first credit cooperative in Plungė was the Loan and Savings Society (STD) established in 1882 or 1883 and operated seesaw by mid-1915.

Credit cooperatives in Lithuania were most tended during the inter-warperiod.

In 1920, under the support by the international Jewish organisations, the Plungė Jewish Bank (ŽLB) was established; in 1923, the Plungė Small Credit Bank (later renamed into Small Credit Society) started its operation. Both these credit institutions were attributable to the category of credit cooperatives and acted according to the standard regulations. The article analysis the activities of these credit enterprises, their management structure and functions, as well as reveals the personalities of their leaders and social composition of their members.

Before 1933, Plungė ŽLB operated better, but from 1937, the Plungė Small Credit Society (SKD) was more successful. In 1926–1939 it managed to raise the deposits 32.1 times, its own capital grew 11 times and lending to its members increased 7.9 times. The growing financial support given by credit cooperatives to its members (farmers and small entrepreneurs) enabled the clients to raise turnover, purchase livestock, mineral fertilisers, etc.

In 1940, when USSR occupied Lithuania, the then powers dissolved the Plungė ŽLB and sovietised the Plungė SKD, i.e., it had to operate under the Soviet regulations; it was renamed into the Agricultural Credit Society, it lost economic and legal self-sufficiency. After the WWII, the Plungė Agricultural Credit Society was providing long-term loans to poor farmers from the funds of the USSR Agricultural Bank. At the end of 1949, the Society was dissolved.