AFM welcomes a key moment in much-needed reform of Friendly Societies legislation

AFM welcomes a key moment in much-needed reform of Friendly Societies legislation

20 June 2023

The Association of Financial Mutuals (AFM) welcomes the announcement that the Law Commission will carry out a review of Friendly Societies Act 1992 in coming months.

The AFM has been campaigning for years for a comprehensive reform of Friendly Societies legislation. The announcement of this review is an important first step in modernising the legal and regulatory framework for Friendly Societies, so that they can compete on more equal terms with other insurance companies, and continue to serve the best interests of their members and to deliver superior outcomes.

The Government committed to asking the Law Commission to review the Friendly Societies Act during Parliamentary debates about the Co-operatives, Mutuals and Friendly Societies Bill, a Private Members Bill introduced by Sir Mark Hendrick MP last year. The Bill has highlighted the strong commitment from parliamentarians across all parties for the mutual and cooperative sector, and was given a Third Reading and completed its progress through the House of Lords on Friday 16 June and is now awaiting Royal Assent.

Andrew Whyte, AFM Chief Executive, said:

“The Law Commission review of the Friendly Societies Act is long-overdue.  The world has changed beyond recognition since the Act was introduced more than 30 years ago, and this has contributed to a sharp decline in the number of active societies. Taken together with the successful passage of the Co-operatives, Mutuals and Friendly Societies Bill through the House of Lords, this represents a key moment in our long-standing campaign for reform. But it is only a start, and we look forward to working with the Law Commission to develop a modern, relevant and proportionate legal and regulatory framework which will enable Friendly Societies to continue to thrive and grow.”

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For more information contact: Andrew Whyte, Chief Executive, AFM: [email protected] or 07703 107613

Notes to Editors.

  1. The Law Commission Review was announced by Andrew Griffith MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury in a written Ministerial Statement on Monday 19 June: Written statements – Written questions, answers and statements – UK Parliament and by the Law Commission itself on Friday 16 June 2023: Law Commission invited to review legislation on co-operatives and friendly societies – Law Commission.
  2. For more details about the Co-operatives Mutuals and Friendly Societies Bill see the Parliament website: Co-operatives, Mutuals and Friendly Societies Bill – Parliamentary Bills – UK Parliament.

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