What is a mutual?

All financial companies in the UK fall into two main groups, public limited companies (PLCs) and mutuals.

A PLC is owned by external shareholders, but mutuals are customer owned. This means we can share our profits with eligible customers, not shareholders.

Mutuals make up an important share of the insurance market around the world. We're part of the International Cooperative and Mutual Federation (ICMIF), which represents 197 member organisations. Together, these organisations employ over 230,000 people and serve over 333 million members or policyholders.

Where did mutuals come from?

Mutuals started out as Friendly Societies, voluntary groups that held social gatherings when meeting to make their payments. Over time, with the introduction of modern insurance and regulation, Friendly Societies grew into the mutuals we have today.

We were founded as a Friendly Society in a coffee shop in 1861 by two men named Joseph Degge and Henry Ridge, before becoming a mutual in 1908.

Today, we're the UK’s largest mutual life, pensions and investment company and we’re just as proud to be one of the remaining mutuals as we are to be one of the first.

Perks of being with a mutual

We know that people are demanding more from their financial providers than ever before, and we're committed to putting you first. Through things like our Annual General Meeting (AGM), ProfitShare and open lines of communication, we're always on the lookout for ways we can provide a higher level of service to customers and members.

So, what does this mean?

Having your voice heard

By voting in our AGM, you can have a say in how our business is run.

Sharing our profits

When we do well, we'll aim to boost eligible customers' pension plans each year by adding ProfitShare.



A sense of belonging

Joining a mutual is a bit like entering a club, in the sense that we're all in it together.


We're a mutual. We support you, and society.

Customer owned since 1861. That's a little different.

Supporting you

Supporting society