Mutual businesses go for growth

Mutual businesses have reasserted their position in the UK high street, with figures unveiled today showing a combined mutual sector turnover of £116bn and one in three consumers doing business with a mutual in the last year.

Leading mutuals will gather in London later to outline further plans for the continued expansion of customer owned firms across a diverse range of business areas. Delegates will hear from mutual business leaders including The Co-operative Group’s Peter Marks who will talk about his plans to propel The Co-operative Bank into the premier league of UK financial services. Read more Mutual businesses go for growth

Mutuals’ Forum 2012

Join leading mutuals for interactive and informative discussions on the key issues facing mutual organisations and listen to keynote speakers outline their views on the future of the sector.

The 2012 Mutuals’ Forum will take place on 22 November 2012 at King’s Place, York Way, London. We will have speakers from leading mutual businesses, mutual advocates as well as senior politicians. Sessions will include:

– Can greater corporate plurality grow the economy?
– Do you have to be mutual to treat customers fairly?
– Can Mutuals unlock a new investment culture?
– Pushing The Boundaries – Creating New Mutuals
– International Mutual Business Forum
– Building Strategic Alliances between mutuals
– Marketing Mutuality

The day will conclude with a Parliamentary Reception & Dinner, held at the House of Commons, free for all early booking delegates.

Guest speaker:  Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt. Hon. Ed Balls MP

The Mutuals’ Forum 2012 is produced by Mutuo and is proudly sponsored for the fifth consecutive year by Engage Mutual Assurance.

Please click here to register or to find out more.

Mutual business leaders visit Washington DC

Senior Mutual Business Leaders from across UK mutuals visited the US recently, as part of a tour organised by Mutuo.  The visit saw the group meet with Navy Federal Credit Union, The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC), The National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA), The American Association for Retired Persons (AARP), Ameritas Group, CUNA Mutual Group, Ontario Mutual Insurance Association and representatives from the British Embassy as well as visiting the offices of Senator Jim DeMint and Congresswoman Judy Biggert.

Read more Mutual business leaders visit Washington DC

Mutuo welcomes plans to develop a mutual Post Office

Mutuo has welcomed today’s Government response to the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills consultation “Building a Mutual Post Office.”  The consultation, which sets out the building blocks towards securing a mutual post office, revealed enthusiasm amongst subpostmasters, staff and the wider public for a stake in the Post Office. Read more Mutuo welcomes plans to develop a mutual Post Office

Mutual Business Leaders visit to Washington DC

In June Mutuo will be taking a number of leaders of British mutual businesses to Washington DC to meet with regulators, American mutual firms and mutual advocates. The visit is an excellent opportunity to foster relationships with leading mutual businesses in the United States and we anticipate this international focus will be beneficial to other areas of our work and to our delegates.  The visit will take place from Monday 25th – Thursday 28th June 2012.

Mutual Business Detector: How to decide which public services could be mutuals

Co-operatives and mutuals were given prominence in the Coalition Agreement as a means of transforming the way public services are delivered. This reflected an existing direction of travel for Government policy; the previous Labour Government had directed and encouraged the establishment of NHS Foundation Trusts and co-operative trust schools and all three major parties had expressed enthusiasm for cooperative and mutual structures in their manifestos.

Read more Mutual Business Detector: How to decide which public services could be mutuals

Fostering Diversity: Promoting Mutuals


How can the Government best develop a policy strategy to implement the Coalition’s commitment to promote mutuals?

The Group accepts that the Coalition Government has been in power for just over a year and so there are limitations to how easily one can gauge their success in promoting mutuality over such a limited period of time. However, from the evidence given to the Inquiry, it is clear that the Government has not yet developed a clear strategy to promote mutuals.

The Inquiry found that the Government appears to have concentrated its policy efforts on encouraging the development of new mutuals to provide public services rather than to support the existing financial mutual sector.

Read more Fostering Diversity: Promoting Mutuals

Mutuals Yearbook 2011

Mutuals Yearbook 2011

The current economic and political imperative is to promote ways of organising finance, risk, public service and enterprise, that are both dynamic and responsible at the same time. For a while, ‘social enterprise’ appeared to offer a third way, between state and market; today, we’re told that it is the ‘Big Society’.

Regulators and policy-makers are seeking principles via which to distinguish the ‘socially useful’ parts of the private sector, from those which seek only to inflate private earnings as fast as possible. Mutualism adds much-needed clarity to all of this, by offering well understood, viable organisational structures, that are entirely alien to both Whitehall and the deal-makers in the City.

Read more Mutuals Yearbook 2011

Social Housing: Made Mutual

Social Housing: Made Mutual

Over recent months, RBH has been working with tenants and employees to develop a new ownership and governance model for the future of council housing in Rochdale.

The vision is based on co-ownership, with tenants and employees as members, to build into the fabric of the organisation a sense of shared priorities and working together. Read more Social Housing: Made Mutual

Community Health Services: Made Mutual

NHS community services are undergoing a seachange. These fundamental services which rarely attract the headlines – including health visiting, midwives, rehabilitation, community and specialist nursing, therapies such as speech and language, physiotherapy and podiatry – account for about 10% of NHS expenditure.

As part of the Coalition Government’s plans to create the “largest social enterprise sector in the world”, a significant number of community health service providers are being separated out from Primary Care Trusts and established as independent social enterprises.

Four of these new providers, which are featured in this publication, have been set up as member-based organisations, with democratic governance, and a professional board of executive and non-executive directors. As independent trading organisations, they need to operate in a business-efficient way and to make a profit (income exceeding expenditure) in order to survive; but they exist to provide services for the public benefit, not to trade for private benefit.

Although they are no longer state-owned and controlled, they are constitutionally and culturally committed to providing services for the public benefit, according to traditional NHS values and principles. They are led by people who are convinced that this is the way to secure the long-term future of NHS services.

These new organisations are not yet well-known or understood; but they are examples of the future of public ownership.

Read ‘Community Health Services: Made Mutual’

Mutuals Forum 2011

The Mutuo team and speakers from the 2011 Mutuals Forum talk about mutuals and the challenges facing the mutuals sector. Contributors include Gareth Thomas MP, Will Davies, Sion Whellens, Paul Flowers, Lynne Woodcock, Cliff Mills, Mark Willetts, Peter Hunt, Andrew Haigh, Kevin Jaquiss, Kevin Ford, Will Hutton, Gareth Swarbric, Paul Kalinauckas, Steve Prescott, Des Benjamin, Ian Macdonald and Russell Gill.


Punk Finance: Capital Made Mutual

Punk FinanceThe current policy interest in mutuals presents a significant opportunity to develop and extend  the sector in a range of business and public service areas.

As government accelerates the process of public sector reform, there are likely to be many new stakeholder led mutuals established over the coming months and years.   At the same time, there remains a need for a greater understanding of how mutuals work, and  where they can be appropriately applied. New  entrants to the sector need to learn from the experience of others and to construct their new mutual with care.

Read more Punk Finance: Capital Made Mutual

Growing Mutuals sector gathers momentum

Britain Made Mutual - Mutuals Yearbook 2010The Mutuals Yearbook 2010 published today confirms that the mutual sector is growing in strength, even during challenging economic times.

In a year which saw a crisis of ownership in a range of areas from financial services, to football, to foreign takeovers, the mutual model continues to provide a successful alternative. The report shows that mutuals are being established in new areas, and that the gross annual turnover of UK mutuals in 2010 exceeded £100 billion with the number of people employed in the sector topping one million, both for the first time.

Read more Growing Mutuals sector gathers momentum

Post Office should be mutualised, new report says

A new report by Mutuo, the leading mutuals think tank, advocates the mutualisation of the Post Office as a way of harnessing the energy, skills and enthusiasm of the Post Office’s customers and employees.

The new report, entitled Post Office: Made Mutual supports measures set out in the Government’s Postal Services Bill which advocates the transfer of Post Office Limited (POL) to a mutual organisation.

The report welcomes this radical new approach to public services but it is clear that before POL can be transferred to any different corporate body, it must first pass the test as a sustainable business.

Read more Post Office should be mutualised, new report says

Oxford University report: Mutuals deliver economic stability

An Oxford University report is calling on the coalition government to promote mutuals in order to aid economic stability in the financial system.

The report, to be launched at all three major political party conferences, argues that a stronger mutual sector would promote effective competition and mitigate against systemic risk. It urges the government not to return to the ‘business as usual model’ for the financial services sector, which proved such a risk to the economy.
Read more Oxford University report: Mutuals deliver economic stability