Sharing the mutual message

Recent events in Westminster and Cardiff highlighted the significant contribution of mutual and co-operatives businesses.

The Purpose of Mutual and Co-operative Businesses in Society 

Following the publication of the mutuals and co-operatives prospectus in November last year, recent events have taken place in Westminster and Cardiff to discuss the contribution co-operatives and mutual business make to society, and how the next government can unleash their potential.

Westminster Roundtable

First up was a well attended parliamentary roundtable in Westminster, hosted by Gareth Thomas MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Mutuals. Attendees included Sir Mark Hendrick MP,  Lord Naseby, Peter Hunt (Mutuo) and Joe Fortune (Coop Party), and BSA CEO Robin Fieth and the other report partners.

There was a lively discussion about the contribution mutuals and co-operative businesses have on society, customers, communities and the economy. The Prospectus highlighted just a few of the many valuable contributions these businesses make and sought to differentiate them from shareholder owned businesses.

The discussion moved on to what is needed from government to support the mutual and co-operative sector and to ensure that they can continue to support their members long into the future.

Cardiff event

At the second event, hosted by Vikki Howells MS, Chair of the Cross Party Group for Co Operatives and Mutuals in the Senedd, attendees discussed the report and the significance of mutuals in Wales and how the Welsh Government can work to support co operatives and mutuals. Julie-Ann Haines, CEO of Principality Building Society summarised the work and impact of Principality, how it is reflected in the prospectus and hopes for mutual growth, particularly in next of general election. 

Other panels members included Andrew Whyte CEO, AFM, Robert Kelly, CEO ABCUL and Bethan Webber, CEO Cwmpas. Senedd representatives at the event included Mark Isherwood MS, Huw Irranca Davies MS, Siân Gwenllian, Hannah Blethyn MS.

There are events planned in Manchester and Edinburgh in the coming weeks where we will continue to spread the mutual message.

We are calling on government to:

  • Create an environment that places mutuals and co-operatives at the heart of economic strategy, supporting the growth of the mutual sector
  • Deliver a legislative and regulatory framework that enables mutuals and co-operatives to meet the needs of the communities they serve and compete fairly with other businesses 
  • Create and preserve capital to support new and growing mutuals and co-operatives

Case Study

Principality Building Society case study

You can find out more here