Mutuals began as Friendly Societies, so named because the members of these voluntary groups would often enjoy a social gathering when meeting to make their payments. Over time, factors such as the introduction of modern insurance and government regulation saw these Friendly Societies grow into the mutuals we have today.
Mutual organisations now make up just nine per cent of the UK’s insurance market. As a longstanding mutual and a proud member of this select group of insurers, Royal London has a long history of always having the best interests of our members at heart.
What is mutuality?
All financial organisations in the UK fall into two main groups - public limited companies (PLCs) and mutuals.
A PLC is owned by and answerable to external shareholders, whereas mutual organisations are owned by their members. This means that rather than paying out money to shareholders in the form of dividends, our profits are reinvested into the organisation to the benefit of you - our customers and members.
According to the Association of Financial Mutuals, there are fewer than 200 friendly societies and mutual insurers remaining in the UK. Royal London was founded as a Friendly Society in 1861 before becoming a mutual in 1908, and today, we’re just as proud to be one of the remaining mutuals as we are to be one of the first.
Perks of being a mutual
We know that British consumers are demanding more from their financial providers than ever before, and our mutual status allows us to deliver a higher level of service along with more accountability to our 1.2 million members.
So what does this mean?
Higher satisfaction levels
Independent surveys indicate that members of mutual organisations enjoy higher levels of satisfaction.
A sense of belonging
Joining a mutual is a bit like entering a club, in the sense that we’re all in it together.
Have your voice heard
Through interacting with our AGM and member surveys, you can have a say in how our business is run.
Benefits of choosing Royal London
At Royal London, we believe insurers should put the needs of customers first, not the desires of stockholders or investors.
That's why we've chosen to retain our status as a mutual even in the face of war, economic instability and indeed the changing face of Britain itself.
From the early days of having insurance men and women collecting payments in person, we've always had a personal connection with our members - the people who place their trust in us to provide financial protection in times of need. Even today, our mutual status allows us more interaction with and accountability to our members, an approach that hasn’t changed in over 150 years.
Royal London is wholly committed to mutuality and looking after your interests, and so through things like our AGM, ProfitShare and open lines of communication, we're always on on the lookout for ways we can improve our service for both members and customers alike.
In short, we work for you and we’re proud of it - after all, it’s your Royal London.