BSA welcomes Labour Party's aim to double the size of the co-operative and mutual sector

BSA CEO Robin Fieth responds to the publication of the Labour Party Manifesto today.

Responding to the publication of the Labour Party Manifesto today, Robin Fieth, CEO of the Building Societies Association, said:
“We are delighted to see the Labour Party’s public commitment to double the size of the co-operative and mutual sector as a core part of its plans for growth.
"There are over 9,000 mutual and co-operatives in the UK, offering a competitive and purpose-driven alternative to shareholder-owned businesses. Their culture, behaviours and decisions differ because of their member ownership model. With no external shareholders to satisfy, they can take a long-term view, which can be reflected in their prices, products and services, leading to product innovation and a greater choice for the consumer. 
"The Building Societies Association (BSA), along withCo-operatives UK, The Association of Financial Mutuals, and ABCUL, has been calling on the government to ensure legislative and regulatory policies support mutuals and co-operatives and create a level playing field with their plc competitors, enabling them to thrive long into the future.¹
"We hope whichever party is leading government on 5th July recognises the value the mutual and co-operative sector brings to our economy and local communities, and commits to doubling the sector within the next decade."

Press contacts:

Tanya Jackson, tanya.jackson@bsa.org.uk Tel: 07881 501098

Katie Wise, katie.wise@bsa.org.uk Tel: 020 7520 5904

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Purpose of Mutual and Co-operative Businesses in Society Prospectus can be found here 
  2. The Building Societies Association represents all 42 building societies, as well as 7 of the larger credit unions. Building societies serve around 26 million consumers across the UK and have total assets of over £515 billion. Together with their subsidiaries, they are helping 3.5 million families and individuals to buy a home with mortgages totalling over £385 billion, representing 24% of total mortgage balances outstanding in the UK. They are also helping over 23 million people build their financial resilience, holding over £385 billion of retail savings, accounting for 19% of all cash savings in the UK.  Within this, societies account for 40% of all cash ISA balances. 
  3. With all of their headquarters outside London, building societies employ around 51,500 full and part-time staff.  In addition to digital services, they operate through approximately 1,300 branches, holding a rising share of financial services branches in local communities.