Political parties should bring forward plans for a greater role for mutual business in key areas of the economy:
- A bigger role for customer owned business (building societies, credit unions, co-operatives and mutual insurers) to increase corporate diversity and customer choice
- More employee ownership to share the rewards of work, and
- A partnership between government and the public to increase investment in growing the economy
Published today, the Mutuals Manifesto makes 44 policy recommendations for increasing the contribution of mutual business to growth, prosperity and fairness.
The report proposes a greater role for customer and employee owned businesses that contribute to managing risk, promote consumer choice and spread wealth more evenly.
It looks at how mutually owned business can play its full part in Britain’s future. From being the birthplace of this idea, the UK now lags behind most of our global competitors, where mutuals play a greater role in financial services, business growth and public service provision.
Key recommendations in the manifesto include:
- Reform of mutual banking to increase market share
- Legislation to prevent future demutualisations
- New ‘One Nation Savings Bonds’ to allow citizens to invest in infrastructure
- Boosting employee ownership, including making employee bonuses portable between employers
- An overhaul of legislation and government policy affecting mutuals
Mutuo Managing Partner Peter Hunt said,
‘All of our major economic competitors, from the U.S. through the European Union to East Asia, make better use of mutually owned business to drive economic growth and spread wealth. We know that greater diversity of business types will help to protect our economy from damaging shocks such as the financial crisis, yet the UK still remains fixated on a plc mono-culture.
Where business operates in the interests of customers and employees, it deserves the support of politicians.
There is a positive role for the next Government in ensuring that mutuals can play their full part in our economy and society. This Manifesto provides a roadmap for helping to make this a reality.’