Subject and purpose of work: The aim of the work is to define the importance of banks in the development of agricultural holdings and the role they play in rural environment. Materials and methods: The relevant material was analysed on the basis of domestic literature concerning a range of banking products offered to natural and legal persons and by the inductivedeductive method. Results: The source of data used for conducting the analyses and drawing conclusions is the information obtained from the Cooperative Bank in Bielsk Podlaski. Conclusions: 1. The goal of cooperative banks is to provide the inhabitants of villages with access to banking services, including credits with attractive interest rates. 2. The services of a cooperative bank are most frequently used by farmers, craftsmen and teachers. 3. In Poland, cooperative banks operate on the basis of: the Foreign Exchange Act, the Payment Services Act, the Act on Freedom of Economic Activities, the Act on the National Bank of Poland, the Act on the National Guarantee Fund, the Law on Bankruptcy and the Rehabilitation Act, as well as on the resolutions of the Management Board of the National Bank of Poland.