Doubling the Size of the UK’s Co-operative and Mutuals Sector: Labour’s Ambitious Plan

The Labour Party has said in its 2024 manifesto that it wants to double the size of the UK’s Co-operative and Mutuals Sector:

“Labour will support diverse business models which bring innovation and new products to the market. This includes the co-operative sector, and we will aim to double the size of the UK’s co-operative and mutuals sector. We will work with the sector to address the barriers they face, such as accessing finance.”*

Co-operatives and mutuals, which can include building societies, credit unions, friendly societies, and mutual ‘insurers’, are not just crucial to the UK’s financial services landscape; they are a part of its rich and successful history. These entities have been in operation in the UK for well over a hundred years; however, their numbers have declined dramatically in the last twenty or so years, making it all the more important to support their revival. 

Mutuals, in many cases, offer a superior, cost-effective alternative to corporate entities. As member-owned entities, they are not driven by profit, they ‘do what they say on the tin’ and they deliver on their promises. This leads to higher member satisfaction rates than their corporate alternatives. 

Our team has explored the potential of a mutualised future framework for the Post Office in a blog and is actively involved in the development of many other mutual projects. We believe our team members have been involved in the building of every new mutual in the UK in the last 15 years. We are optimistic about the prospect of collaboration with the Labour Party, should they secure victory in the upcoming election. 

The Labour Party’s commitment to doubling the co-operative and mutuals sector presents a significant opportunity for innovation and growth in the UK. Our team at Prospect Mutual Management is eager to contribute our wide range of experience to this initiative and continue our efforts to grow the co-operative and mutuals sector.

The Labour manifesto also addresses the issue of rising car insurance costs, stating their intention to “tackle the soaring cost of car insurance.” This pledge has already sparked reactions from the insurance industry, with discussions around a potential government intervention creating challenges for motor insurers. Could a mutual approach offer a solution to this issue as well?

* See page 35 of the manifesto

David Gudopp

As the Head of Risk Mitigation and Transfer in our Insurance, Mutuals and Risk Management division, David will bring over 20 years of experience to the table. David’s focus is on providing clients with an independent assessment of their risk transfer arrangements and driving targeted outcomes.

Prospect is a multi-disciplinary practice with specialist expertise in the energy and environmental sectors with particular experience in the low carbon energy sector. The firm is made up of lawyers, engineers, insurance and risk management specialists, and finance experts.

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