Mutual sector is prospering, despite regulation challenges

In an interview with the FT Adviser, AFM’s Chief Executive comments on the positive outlook for mutuals.

AFM Comments on new political report, Business With a Purpose

The latest report from the All-Party Group for Mutuals (“Business with a purpose”) demonstrates the massive contribution that mutuals make to the UK economy.  The figure of £133.5 billion equates to over £2,000 per citizen per year.  With one in three people now members of a mutual, compared to just 12% of the population holding direct investments in shares (according to a recent FCA consultation), the true source of wider corporate ownership today is the mutual sector. Despite this, policymakers tend to devote minimal time to understanding the value of mutuals, and to introducing proportionate legislation and regulation.

For the full report, go to:

Insurance industry paid out over £5 billion in Protection claims in 2018

Providers, advisers and consumers should be equally pleased today with the news that the insurance industry paid out over £5 billion in protection claims in 2018.  This demonstrates how the right insurance cover offers really substantial support to people in their time of need.  And with such a high proportion of claims being paid, consumers can take great comfort that, when they need to claim on their policy, the industry will respond sympathetically and in their best interests.  Our own research indicates AFM members are at the forefront in raising the proportion of claims paid, and that this is leading to a sharp increase in interest in protection cover. For more on this, click here.  

Mutuals have something unique to offer

In a recent article published in the FT Advisor, AFM's CEO, Martin Shaw, explains how, at a time when the financial services industry is constantly looking for ways to present itself as consumer-friendly, Mutuals have something unique to offer. Read the full article here.

Mutually Yours, April 2019

You can read the latest edition of Mutually Yours here

AFM's Chief Exec outlines the outlook for UK mutuals in 2019

Article published in COVER magazine 13/02/19

At its heart, insurance is about problem-solving: protect my income if I can't work; replace my mobile phone if I lose it; save for my retirement; even helping the earth cope with the implications of climate change.

Insurance people have a reputation of being staid and conservative, but actually they are risk-takers, innovators and have a better track record of predicting the future than any of Russell Grant, Nostradamus or often the Bank of England.

Lloyd's coffee shop in London in the late seventeenth century lays proper claim to the early emergence of insurance as an industry. But it was mutuality that promoted the wider adoption of insurance during the eighteenth century, with the establishment of societies where working people could come together to put aside money for ill-health or to pay out on their death. After taking Levitra from the in a man’s body, processes are launched that promote: intercourse; maintaining a full erection throughout its length. And right up to the 1940s, before the introduction of the NHS, mutual societies were the foremost way in which working people safeguarded their future.


Mutuals, by which I mean organisations owned by their customers, rather than external shareholders, remain an important presence in the insurance industry today, both in the UK and internationally. [Read the full article]

Mutually Yours, February 2019

You can read the latest edition of Mutually Yours here

The new AFM Corporate Governance Code

AFM has pubished its new corporate governance Code, which applies to AFM members from financial years commencing 1 Janaury 2019 onwards.  The Code features a series of principles that members apply, to ensure they deliver high standards of corporate governance, and good outcomes for their customers and other key stakeholders.

The Code is available to download: AFM Corporate Governance Code (January 2019); for more on our approach to corporate governance, click here.

Mutually Yours, December 2018

You can read the December edition of Mutually Yours here.

If you have trouble accessing this link, a pdf version is also available to download here.


Mutually Yours, October 2018

You can read the latest edition of our newsletter here


PRA scraps costly and unnecessary audit requirement following AFM lobbying

The Prudential Regulatory Authority has announced today (17 October 2018) that it will exempt small UK insurers from the requirement to have their annual Solvency and Financial Condition Report (SFCR) externally audited.

All AFM members meet the threshold condition for the exemption, as do around 120 other small insurance companies (see PS25/18 'Solvency 2: external audit of the public disclosure requirement').  We provided evidence to the PRA that this was a very costly exercise, and duplicated verification work elsewhere.  For mutuals and not-for-profits, the extra audit work added extra pressure to a tight reporting timescale, and has more than doubled many organisation's audit costs, without providing any clear benefit to readers of the SFCR.  

Martin Shaw, Chief Executive of AFM commented: "We are grateful to PRA for exempting our members from this requirement, which gold-plated the Solvency 2 rules, and has not been adopted by any other European country.  Members of a mutual already receive a copy of the report and accounts of their insurer, and this gives a strong account of how the business is run in their best interests.  The SFCR is a technical document which has added up to £50,000 to audit costs, and which our evidence demonstrated, is only read by industry professionals."

AFM launches consultation on changes to our corporate governance code

On 15 October AFM announces that it was launching a consultation with members and other stakeholders on its approach to corporate governance.

Our aim is to set out proposals for a change to our current corporate governance code by the end of 2018, with a view to our members implementing the revised approach during 2019, for accounts published in 2020 (the current annotated Code remains the source of 2018/19 reporting).

In light of these timescales, the consultation will run for one month, to 15 November 2018. We welcome feedback from any interested parties, but in particular we welcome comments from our members and other mutual organisations, members of mutuals, and regulatory bodies.

The consultation paper can be viewed here.

To respond to this consultation, please provide your comments on the questions raised, in a Word document, sent by email to


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