What is a Co-operative?

A Co-operative is a business or organisation owned by and operated for the benefit of those using its services.

Profits and earnings generated by the Co-operative are distributed among its members.

The Board of directors, of which the majority are elected from Iemas’ member base, guide the Co-operative while members have voting power at the Annual General Meeting of the organisation. Members become part of the Co-operative by utilising any of our products.

Because Co-operatives are owned and controlled by their members the decisions taken by Co-operatives balance the need for profitability with the needs of their members.

The difference between general financial service providers and Iemas as a Co-operative

Iemas Financial Services: Co-operative

A Co-operative belongs to its members. (Iemas’ members are mainly employees at contracted employer groups). Members are the shareholders and there are no external shareholders.

Products and services are provided to members of the Co-operative only.

  • Co-operatives are dedicated to the values of transparency, social responsibility and caring for others.
  • Membership is open to people employed at an Iemas contracted group. The general public can also make use of Iemas’ short-term insurance products.
  • The Co-operative shares its profits with members annually through reward allocations.

Other Financial Service Providers

  • Financial institutions are owned by shareholders.
  • Products and services are provided to the public.
  • Revenue is generated in different ways including interest, transaction fees, account fees and financial advice.

Organisational structure

  • Profits are shared with members through annual reward allocations
  • Members own the Co-operative
  • Operated to make profit
  • Institutions owned by shareholders


  • Employees at participating employer groups.
  • General public who use short-term insurance.
  • Payments are made mainly via a salary deduction.
  • No restrictions on clientele.


  • A Board of directors who represent the interests of members.
  • Members each have one vote at the Annual General Meeting regardless of their number of savings or shares in the Co-operative.
  • Stockholders vote for Board members.
  • Votes are weighted based on the amount of stock owned.

Sharing of profits

  • More than 50% of the Co-operative’s profits are shared with members in the form of rewards.
  • Stockholders receive a pro-rata share of profits.

Products & service

  • Focused range of financial services, including insurance, loans and vehicle finance and a purchase card.
  • Full range of financial services.

Service delivery

  • Regional and branch offices, contact centre, website, e-mail and sms.
  • Regular workplace visits and on-site offices.
  • Main office, branch offices, ATMs, POS devices, PDAs, cell phones, internet or online banking.