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System reboot: Let co-operatives in

System reboot: Let co-operatives in

Everywhere we look, we find polices and processes created solely with companies in mind. This can create issues for co-operatives and community benefit societies. Now it is time to do something about it.

What can we do?

By working together, we can convince businesses to correct their policies and processes - and influence government to play its part as well. By businesses we mean: banks; other lenders; and other platforms that for online services and selling.

Together we can build a dossier of evidence to influence decision-makers in private businesses and public bodies. By autumn 2024 we hope to have gathered enough evidence to take to decision-makers. The longer we wait, the worse these problems will become.

Example issues:

  • Months of delay and frustrating phone calls just to open a bank account
  • Accounts frozen because societies are incorrectly recorded as 'closed down' after converting from a company
  • Unable to sign-up for vital online services and/or frozen out of accounts
  • Refused access to an approved supplier list because of issues with due diligence processes 

These are mostly caused by flawed policies and processes in private businesses, but in some cases the problems originate in public bodies like Companies House. 

As more processes become digitised and automated, the bigger this problem becomes. It makes being a society and/or a co-operative harder than it needs to be. Societies are disadvantaged and the perception that choosing a co-operative model is complicated and burdensome grows. The scale of these issues affecting societies is a strategic concern for Co-operatives UK.

Next steps

We want to hear from all societies that have experienced difficulties due to their legal form. We will collate these issues and build a dossier of evidence to influence decision-makers in private businesses and public bodies. If you need immediate support or advice on any issues, contact our Advice Team at [email protected].

Is your co-op or organisation a member of Co-operatives UK?
Please let us know a specific date/date range or approximate date/date range when you experienced this issue. 
Please upload documentation which displays any communication you had with the organisation in question. Please include this in one word document or a pdf. 
One file only.
32 MB limit.
Allowed types: txt, rtf, pdf, doc, docx, odt, ppt, pptx, odp, xls, xlsx, ods.
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