Mutuals and co-operatives call on Government to back ‘business with purpose beyond profit’

A number of representative groups from the mutual and co-operative sectors have called on the next Government to prioritise ‘business with purpose behind profit.’

According to findings published by the Association of British Credit Unions (ABCUL), the Association of Financial Mutuals (AFM), the Building Societies Assocation (BSA), Co-operatives UK (Co-op UK) and the National Liaison Group (NLG), mutual and co-operative businesses make a significant contribution to the economy.

With combined annual revenues of £87.9bn, this equates to 3.5% of gross domestic product (GDP).

However, according to the findings from the above trade bodies, different legal and regulatory frameworks often prevent mutuals from competing on a level playing field with their competitors.

The ABCUL, AFM, BSA, Co-op UK and NLG have called on the next Government to place mutuals and co-operatives at the heart of economic strategy.

In a joint Prospectus created by the trade associations, they called on the Government to deliver a legislative and regulatory framework that enables mutuals and co-operatives to meet the needs of the communities they serve, to allow them to compete fairly with other businesses, and to create capital to support new and growing mutuals and co-operatives.

A series of Parliamentary events will be held across the UK in the new year regarding this issue with the aim of understanding the value mutual organisations bring to the economy, and to garner support for the actions required to maintain that mutual value.