Collaboration as a source of competitive advantage for UK financial mutuals

AFM, along with the Building Societies Association sponsored research in 2015 by Kellogg College, Oxford into some of the strategic options open to the sector, and in particular to how collaboration and other sources of working together, might help the financial mutuals to develop a new competitive advantage.

The report is available to download here.

(Note that the version published in April 2016 contains some amendments on page 6 relating to competition law compliance.)

UK Market InSights

This report was produced in conjunction with the international mutuals trade body ICMIF, to give an overview of market share of mutuals in the UK, and to explore details behind some of the positive trends of recent years.

The report is available to download here.

A manifesto for financial mutuals

Working with the Building Societies Association, AFM has launched a "Manifesto for Financial Mutuals" calling on the political parties to include support for the mutual sector in their forthcoming election manifestos.

AFM Key Facts

AFM has published a new set of key facts about mutual insurers and friendly societies

APPG report on mutual capital

In September 2014, the All-Party Political Group for Mutuals published a report based on its inquiry into Mutual Capital.  During the inquiry the group heard testimoney from AFM, BSA, PRA and FCA about the nature of capital for mutuals, and the limitations this has on their businesses.  

The report can be downloaded here, and recommends that:

1.    New capital instruments for mutuals should be created

2.    Regulators should have a legal duty to promote corporate diversity

3.    There is a real need for policy makers, regulators and legislators to better understand how customer owned mutuals operate

AFM Corporate Governance Report 2014

AFM operates a self-regulated Corporate Governance Code for Mutual Insurers, and reports each year on standards of compliance within the sector.  The latest report has now been produced.

Mutuals in their Communities

AFM has published a new research paper, looking at the contribution made by mutuals to the communities they work in.  You can download the report here.

Markets for the Many

A new report by think tank Respublica has been launched in Westminster called "Markets for the Many: How civic finance can open up markets and widen access".  The report was part-sponsored by the Association of FInancial Mutuals.  

Recommendations from the think tank report include that the Government should ease the capital ratio requirements on building societies and encourage them to lend to small businesses; allow financial mutuals to raise extra capital to increase competition within the insurance sector; and introduce a Community Reinvestment Act in the next Parliament to maximise lending to our deprived communities.

The 'mid-term mutuals manifesto' was issued in June 2013.

Key messages include:

–       Since the 2010 General Election – the coalition has implemented many of the proposals from the first Mutuals Manifesto

–       This is a positive document, full of ideas for how mutuals can help our country

–       Mutuals do not need and are not asking for favours from government.  But they do need to do business on a level playing field

–       The sector seeks to work with Government in a partnership to maximise the contribution that mutuals can make to our economy and society

Oxford report on Measuring Mutuality

The AFM Board commissioned Professor Michie of the Kellogg College, Oxford University to produce a report on 'Measuring Mutuality- Indicators for Financial Mutuals' in 2012.  An executive summary of the report is available here, and the full report is now available to download.

A new report on "Future proofing the UK mutual insurance sector" was launched at the AFM Conference in November; read it here.

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