New Bill to enhance operating environment for co-ops and mutuals

15 June 2022 | News

Sir Mark Hendrick MP

A new Bill will has been introduced in Parliament this week which proposes a way for co-operatives, friendly societies and mutual insurers to grow and develop their businesses while securing their commitment to member ownership and control. The Bill was formally introduced by Preston MP, Sir Mark Hendrick.

The Co-operatives, Mutuals and Friendly Societies Bill has been designed to meet a range of objectives.

For co-ops:

·      A new permanent share

·      An option for legacy reserves to be indivisible

For mutual insurers and friendly societies:

·      Tax neutrality for Mutuals Deferred Shares

·      An option for legacy reserves to be indivisible

For friendly societies:

·      Modernisation updates to 1992 Friendly Societies Act

It takes forward a key recommendation of The Ownership Commission and builds on similar legislation seen in other parts of the world. Second Reading will take place on Friday 28th October.

Mutuo’s Managing Partner, Peter Hunt, said, ‘This Bill seeks to amend the capital regime for co-ops and community benefit societies, to permit the injection of external capital, while securing their mutuality.  It also brings friendly societies law up-to-date and establishes tax neutrality for Mutuals Deferred Shares. Sir Mark’s Bill offers to enhance the operating environment for co-ops and mutuals so that they can continue to serve their members and offer more choice and competition in their markets.’