Financial companies ‘Owned By You’, are trusted by you

Financial companies ‘Owned By You’, are trusted by you

New research shows people trust mutuals, but not plcs

People are far more likely to trust a financial mutual than any other type of financial services provider, including shareholder-owned high street banks according to new consumer research revealed by The Association of Financial Mutuals (AFM) today.  

When asked to rank financial mutuals and financial plcs on a trust scale of 1-10, financial mutuals received a ‘Net Trust Score’ of +32%, compared to financial plcs, which registered -5%, clearly demonstrating that whilst a vast majority of people trust mutuals with their money, the same cannot be said for shareholder-owned companies, who people lost confidence in during the financial crisis.

AFM is today launching a new consumer website called Owned By You ( encouraging people to take a more active role in organisations that they own and to provide clearer information about financial mutuals, explaining the fundamental differences with shareholder-owned organisations and the benefits to their customers that result.  The site is aimed at both the 20 million members who own a stake in mutuals in the UK, but also at consumers who have not necessarily understood that mutuals mean the organisation is owned by, and run for, the benefit of its customers. 

Talking ahead of the launch of Owned By You, Labour MP and Chair of the Business Select Committee, Adrian Bailey MP said:

“One of my criticisms of the [mutual] movement in the past, is that it has not shouted its difference from the rooftops even though it’s got a very good story to tell…The public do, increasingly, appreciate the difference between mutuals and the proprietary sector.”

He added, “This website will go some way to promoting the idea, getting greater understanding of it, and hopefully strengthening the sector.”

Jonathan Evans, Conservative MP and Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Building Societies and Financial Mutuals stated:“I think it is very important that there should be diversity in financial services… Those companies that are actually owned by their policyholders or their depositors, have shown for more than a hundred years that it is a very successful model.  That’s why I think the development and the retention of mutuals is so very important.”

Martin Shaw, Chief Executive of the Association of Financial Mutuals, commented:

“The financial crisis meant that many people lost confidence is large parts of the financial services industry, and that this is proving very slow to return.  The Prime Minister said recently that we need a better model for business, to get people more engaged- our research shows that we have a solution, in the mutual organisations which people so clearly trust.

“At a time where the public’s perceptions of financial services remain woefully low, we hope that the new website, Owned By You, will help people gain more of the knowledge and tools they need to become more engaged in the way organisations they own are run.  We expect that society as a whole is better when the mutual sector is stronger.”


Notes on Net Trust Score


Research conducted by Opinium Research on 28/ 29 January 2012, with a nationally representative sample of 2,010.

Respondees were asked to rate financial mutuals and financial plcs on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 meant strongly distrust, and 10 meant strongly trust.

The average score for mutuals was 6.0, for plcs 4.6.  The breakdown of scores was:

%                                 Mutual                          plc

Distrust                         10                                 28

Neutral                          36                                 38

Trust                             42                                 23

Unsure                          12                                 11

The net trust score is derived from deducting the proportion that distrust away from those that trust.

Notes on Owned By You,

Owned By You is an information website for the members of mutual organisations.  It has been produced by the Association of Financial Mutuals, the trade body that represents financial mutuals in the UK.  It uses content generated by members as well as independently, to provide a rich source of information about the sector in a format that is accessible to consumers.

AFM retains its b2b website,, and continues to invest in children’s education through 4 to 7 year olds) and 7 to 11 year olds). 

Follow us on twitter: @ownedbyyou

For further information please contact:


Rimmi Shah/ Simon Alderson               

Lansons Communications

[email protected]

020 7294 3670 / 020 7294 3680


Martin Shaw is available for comment if required. 

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