Member Owned

Ownership of mutuals and corporate governance

Member of AFM are either owned by their customers, or else set up on a not-for-profit basis. This means they are able to focus entirely on the best interests of their customers because they don’t have to account to shareholders.

To help develop high standards of corporate governance and to explore best practice in the way mutuals operate, we have developed an Annotated Combined Code for mutual insurers (the Code). This is consistent with the UK Corporate Governance Code which all UK listed companies must comply with.

Each year our members assess their compliance with the Code. If there are any aspects they are unable to comply with, they include these in their annual reports.  For more, see our governance website.

The Annotated Corporate Governance Code for Mutual Insurers: September 2016 *

AFM corporate governance guidance: the latest version of this guidance was produced in January 2015

* Members completed the Code compliance exercise during 2017 should refer to the April 2015 version

Regular information about governance in the sector, and details for members about complying with the Code are available on our dedicated website:

As well as maintaining the Annotated Corporate Governance Code, AFM issues a range of advice and support to members on governance, as well as formal guidance in support of the Code.

In 2016 we launched our NED toolkit (revised January 2017).  This is available to members by request; a summary is available to download.  The accompanying Duties of Directors is also available to download.

Other documents include:

January 2014 guidelines: evidence the accuracy of Code reporting
October 2013 guidelines: changes to auditor reporting
October 2013 guidlelines: adopting the new strategic report

The AFM Board sponsored an independent review of the compliance exercise in the latter half of 2012.  A detailed report was prepared by Mazars LLP in November 2012, and the recommendations and AFM response can be downloaded here