Owned By You
We're Mutual, We Only Work For You
UK financial organisations are all authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority and/ or the Prudential Regulatory Authority, and are either mutuals or public limited companies (PLCs). A mutual organisation is owned and run for the benefit of its members and unlike a PLC, has no external shareholders to pay in the form of dividends and does not seek to make large profits or capital growth.
Mutuals exist for their members who benefit from the services they provide. Profits are usually re-invested for the benefits of members, although some may be used for internal finance to ensure the mutual is sustainable, safe and secure.
Experience and scale
Most people recognise mutuals as long-established building societies, co-operatives, friendly societies and mutual insurance companies. Some of the oldest mutuals have over 100 years’ experience and a strong, proud heritage of providing members with the savings plans and insurance they need.
Discover when old mutual organisations were established and to see the facts and figures behind the financial mutuals sector.
Today, UK mutuals are big business. They account for £90 billion in revenue every year and affect the lives of more than one in every three UK citizens. More than 25 million people are members of at least one mutual*.
These days, the mutual sector is very diverse including housing associations, clubs, employee owned bodies and specialist bodies such as football supporter trusts and community mutuals. There are also lots of new mutuals in the public sector – new independent organisations providing public services, such as NHS Foundation Trusts, Leisure Trusts, Co-operative Schools and Community Housing Schemes.
Read the two latest reports on diversity in financial services:
Greater potential value
Research by AFM shows that in 2009 PLC insurers paid out on average 3p to shareholders for every £1 invested by their customers. With no shareholders to please, mutuals can ensure that their profits are only distributed to customers like you, or reinvested to give you better returns, better value and higher levels of service. See more information about our potential value.
According to independent surveys, mutual staff are more motivated and work harder when their customers actually own the organisation they work for. Find out more about our better service.
- AFM sponsors report on diversity in financial services.
- Government report on promoting mutuals.