The Co-operative Central Bank Ltd (CCB) was established in 1937 under the Co-operative Societies Laws and Rules having as its main purpose the provision of banking and other ancillary services to member co-operative societies which form the backbone of the agricultural community of Cyprus. Over the years the Bank has seen the need to expand and diversify its activities and is now in a position to provide the full range of services normally offered by comprehensive rural banks. The establishment of the Bank was a major event and turning point in the development of the Co-operative Movement and has proved instrumental in eradicating the then prevalent usury and exploitation of farmers. Its progress has been rapid and its success beyond the expectation of the pioneers of the Co-operative Movement. By supporting existing as well as newly established Co-operative Societies the Bank has also contributed towards the idea of thrift. The numbers of members of the Co-operative Credit Societies increased steadily and the pioneers of thrift prevailed so that today the Cyprus Co-operative Movement provides an excellent example of attaining self-finance through the collection of rural savings. Virtually every village in the Government controlled area of Cyprus has its own Co-operative Society. The idea of attaining self-finance through thrift gradually found its way into towns and to the relatively more prosperous classes of the population. The progress made by the Bank provides an excellent example of what can be achieved by self-help and mutual-help.