Mutual Societies

Treasury written question – answered at on 25 May 2023.

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Photo of Jonathan Reynolds Jonathan Reynolds Shadow Secretary of State for Business and Industrial Strategy

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many officials in his Department work on policies relating to mutual societies.

Photo of Andrew Griffith Andrew Griffith The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

The Treasury allocates resources based on the priorities of the department, and officials within the Financial Services Group of HM Treasury provide advice to ministers on issues related to the mutuals sector. Resourcing is kept under regular review to ensure priorities are delivered.

The government recognises the value that mutuals bring to the UK economy. That is why we are taking appropriate steps to ensure that the legislative framework in which mutuals operate under is both a modern and supportive business environment.

As part of the Financial Services and Markets Bill, the Government is amending existing legislation so that credit unions in Great Britain can offer a wider range of products and services. In due course the government will also bring forward legislation to amend the Building Societies Act 1986, which will give building societies further flexibility in raising funds and modernise corporate governance requirements.

In addition, the government is supporting Sir Mark Hendrick’s Private Member’s Bill which would allow co-operatives, mutual insurers, and friendly societies further flexibility in determining for themselves the best strategies for their business, relating to their surplus capital and restrictions on the use of these assets.

Furthermore, the government is in active discussions with the Law Commission on options to proceed with a review of both the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 and the Friendly Societies Act 1992 with a view to launching the reviews in the next financial year.

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