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?
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.
Pensions and retirement
Our helpful pensions and retirement articles will help you brush up on your financial knowledge about long-term savings.
Our financial wellbeing hub contains information and support to help you feel more confident about the decisions you make with your money.
Cost of living
Looking for support with the cost of living? Take a look at our range of guides and articles for tips to help you cope with rising costs.
From voting to influence change, ensuring robust governance of our own investments, and collaborating with others, it all helps us to continue to make a difference.
Our social impact work is how we drive meaningful change for wider society, by helping people build financial resilience and move fairly to a sustainable world.