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FCA abolishes society fees - saving the sector over £1m annually

Policy campaign

5th March 2019
Last updated
4th November 2020
Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Policy issue
Law and corporate framework

The FCA will scrap the annual society registration fee - a saving of up to £495 per society and an estimated saving of £1m for the sector overall, every year.

In addition, the FCA has made improvements to its registration and AR30 forms, having been hugely receptive to our suggestions. With the FCA also launching an excellent new online portal for registering and filing as a society, great progress is now being made to making the society legal forms as user-friendly as they should be.

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The FCA Mutuals Team deserves a lot of credit for all this. But we also know the pressure we’ve applied behind the scenes has helped make the business case for these changes inside the FCA bureaucracy.
– James Wright, Policy Officer, Co-operatives UK

Key benefits for societies

  • Abolition of annual fees saving societies between £67 and £495 per year
  • Free access to public records on the Mutuals Register online - abolishing the £12 fee per record it currently charges.  This will make society data much more accessible to third parties, which will make it easier to enter into contracts, access finance and in some cases will save societies significant amounts of money 
  • A new online portal making it easier to register a society and to comply with registration year on year
  • Improved registration and AR30 forms in line with our recommendations. For example, questions for co-operative societies now align with the ICA Definition and questions for community benefit societies make a clearer link between business activity and community benefit 

Changes came into force on 1 April, 2019.

Together we are stronger
Around 80 societies responded to the FCA's consultation, providing strong evidence for the case we have argued - a great example of how, working together, we can achieve change.