On 17 April, 1972, OKO Bank’s Supervisory Board established the Research Foundation of the Cooperative Bank Organisation as part of the celebrations of OKO Bank’s 70th Anniversary. In 1991, the name of the Foundation was changed to “OP Bank Group Research Foundation”, and in 2008 to OP-Pohjola Research Foundation.

OKO Bank donated an initial capital of FIM 250 000 to the Foundation. In the early years, the capital base of the Foundation mainly consisted of the annual donations of OKO Bank and its subsidiaries. The importance of the donations decreased when the investments of the Foundation and their returns grew. Since 1987, the Foundation has not received donations. The activities have been solely financed by the returns on the investments.

When the Foundation was established, the aim was defined as the support and promotion of economic research and especially research on cooperative banking operations.

The main forms of activities of the Foundation are the distribution of grants, rewarding doctoral theses in the field of financing, possible incentive prizes and rewards for significant life achievements, as well as the organisation of thematic days on current topics.