Frequently asked questions

If your question is not answered here please contact us at our UK office so that we can answer your questions or find someone who can.   

  • What is the Oikocredit International Share Foundation?

    Oikocredit Ecumenical Development Co-operative Society U.A (Oikocredit International) was incorporated in 1975 as a co-operative society under the laws of the Netherlands.

    Oikocredit International Share Foundation (OISF) is an administrative office of Oikocredit International, established for raising investment from the public by using depository receipts and which invests its funds by way of shares in Oikocredit International.

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  • What are Depository Receipts?

    Depository Receipts are like shares which permit individuals and organisations to invest in Oikocredit.  It gives holders the financial rights of a shareholder without direct membership. Depository Receipts also contribute to the capital Oikocredit invests in its partners, in the same way as shares held by member organisations. This structure protects Oikocredit’s commitment to its mission and values: only member organisations can vote, but all our investors’ views are important.

    Depository receipts are classified by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as a non-readily realisable security. This is any investment which is not in a government or publicly issued security. Neither is it in a security which is admitted to official listing on, or regularly traded on (or under the rules of) a recognised investment exchange, e.g. the London stock exchange. 

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  • What is the typical dividend payable?

    Oikocredit pays a modest gross dividend on its shares (historically not more than 2% gross per year). The dividend cannot be guaranteed, it depends on the financial results in a given year. Since 2000, Oikocredit has paid its investors a dividend of 2% gross each year, every year*.  Oikocredit applies no annual management charge, commissions, fees or other charges.  

    *This information is taken from Oikocredit Annual Accounts.

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  • How is Dividend calculated for a part year?

    Since 2012 dividend is due for each full month that shares are held.

    For example, the annual dividend for 2013 payable in June 2014 was 2%. So the distribution of dividends equates to one twelfth of 2% for every full calendar month of the year that the shares were registered.

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  • When is any dividend paid?

    The dividend is calculated in June each year based on your investment holdings in the previous year. For example, the June 2015 dividend is based on investments held from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2014. You can choose to re-invest your dividend, have it paid out (minimum £50), of gift it to Oikocredit. 

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  • Is my investment covered by a financial services compensation scheme?

    No. Oikocredit is not covered by a financial services compensation scheme in any country.  Oikocredit is not a bank and your investment is in the share capital of Oikocredit International, and therefore at risk. 

    To manage this risk, our investors' capital from across the world is pooled together, spreading the risk across over 60 countries where we lend, and across a multitude of different sectors.  In addition, potential loan losses are mitigated through Oikocredit's own Bad Debt Provision fund; and Currency risks are mitigated via Oikocredit’s Currency Risk fund.  Please read the prospectus for a full account of risks.

    Since it started in 1975, Oikocredit has never failed to redeem an investment on request and for its original value. Past performance is not, however, a guide to future performance.  Your investment is potentially illiquid and repayment of your investment is not guaranteed.

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  • Why is the Prospectus such a large document?

    The information contained in the Prospectus is specified by the Dutch regulating authority to ensure you are aware of the potential risks and are given a realistic presentation of the rewards of investment.

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  • Can an investment be held in joint names?

    Yes. If you are investing as an individual or as joint individuals, the forms that you complete make provision for including a second investor. Oikocredit will always communicate with the first named investor, unless otherwise specified.   For organisational investors, the name of the organisation is deemed to be 'the investor', but we communicate with individuals as specified on the forms you supply us. 

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  • How do I redeem my investment?

    After completing the redemption request form online or by post via the UK office, redemption (in part or full) takes around a month.

    Oikocredit, like other financial institutions offering mutual share capital, has a provision in its Articles of Incorporation that it may postpone redemptions for up to 5 years. This provision is designed to protect Oikocredit’s stability and especially its borrowers in case of a crisis.  It has never been invoked.  Past performance is not, however, a guide for the future. Your investment is at risk, is potentially illiquid, and repayment of your investment is not guaranteed.

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  • Will income tax be due on dividends?

    Tax may be due depending on your circumstances.

    Dividends are paid gross of tax as a Foreign Dividend and it is your duty to declare gross dividends to HMRC. Our general tax guidance note is available from the UK office.

    There is no Annual Management Charge, extra fees, commissions or other charges on the dividend.

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  • What age do I need to be to invest in Oikocredit?

    You need to be at least 18 years old to invest yourself.

    You can buy depository receipts on behalf of a child (provided you obtain parental consent), which will become their own when they are aged 18.

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  • Is it possible for a charity to invest in Oikocredit?

    Yes, investment in Oikocredit is open to individuals, charities and all other types of legal entities. If you have questions about making a social investment as a charity, trust, corporate or any other organisation then please contact us at the UK and Ireland office.

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  • Who do I call if I have a question about my investment?

    Your investment will be a foreign investment in a Dutch registered organisation. You should contact the UK office for answers to your questions in the first instance. If you should need to contact Oikocredit in the Netherlands, the telephone number is +31 (0)33 422 4040.

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  • Who are the members of Oikocredit International?

    Oikocredit Ecumenical Development Co-operative Society U.A. (Oikocredit International) is a member owned co-operative.

    Membership of Oikocredit International is open to all organisations that support and align with our mission and values. To date this includes social enterprises and social banks, faith-based institutions, partner organisations, and voluntary support associations. 

    Oikocredit currently has around 600 international members amongst its 6000 organisational investors. 

    For more information about becoming a member organisation of Oikocredit, please visit our members page on our international website.

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  • Oikocredit began as a faith-based initiative. Does that influence your work?

    Whilst our roots are ecumenical, our mission is to challenge individuals and organisations to invest their capital responsibly.  

    Our ecumenical roots are neither reflected in our partner selection nor in our outgoing investment criteria.  Rather, the social performance of our investments remains our priority, and we focus on continuous social impact studies to assess the long-term benefits of social financing whilst staying true to our social and environmental mission.

    The sustainable development landscape will continue to grow and change. Oikocredit's aim is to change with it to become the most socially responsible impact investor in the world with a true mix of social, environmental and financial goals; whilst providing a social investment product that allows individuals and organisations to fulfil their own social and environmental aims. 

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  • What is the Oikocredit International Support Foundation?

    Not to be confused with the Oikocredit International Share Foundation, the International Support Foundation is a charitable Foundation which undertakes grant giving work, separate from our investment operations. The main functions of the charitable Foundation are to provide capacity building grants to our project partners and to mitigate currency risk in order to provide responsible, sustainable lending in local currencies.

    Investors can choose to donate their dividend to the Support Foundation by selecting this option on the application form.

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  • What are support associations of Oikocredit?

    An Oikocredit support association is an independent organisation established in support of the work of Oikocredit, and they account for around 80% of investment in Oikocredit.

    There are support associations throughout Europe and North America. In countries such as the UK and Ireland without a support association, investment can be made directly via Oikocredit’s UK office.

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