Skip to main content

Co-operative and mutual sector calls on next government to back business with purpose beyond profit

News item

30th November 2023
Last updated
24th January 2024
Policy campaigns
The Purpose of Mutual and Co-operative Business in Society

Industry bodies representing members whose revenues exceed £87 billion a year are calling on the next government to back business with purpose beyond profit. 

Outdated legislation and disproportionate regulation prevent co-operatives and mutuals from competing on a level playing field, according to the alliance. The organisations comprise ABCUL, the Association of Financial Mutuals, the Building Societies Association, Co-operatives UK and the National Industry Liaison Group.

The alliance says co-operatives and mutuals offer a competitive alternative to shareholder-owned businesses and are essential for the UK to build an inclusive, growing and diverse economy. These businesses also provide greater consumer choice while delivering ‘mutual value’ to their members and wider society.

A joint prospectus co-created by mutual and co-operative trade associations calls for a new covenant between government, mutuals and society. To back purpose-driven business models that deliver tangible benefits to our communities and wider society government must:

  • 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
  • Unlock options for new and growing mutuals and co-operatives to raise private capital 

A series of policy roundtables will be held across the UK in the new year to engage, face-to-face, with politicians from all parties. The aim is to build understanding of the value mutual organisations bring to the economy, and to garner support for the actions required to maintain that mutual value.

Read and share the prospectus

Mutuals and Co-operatives Prospectus
Campaign for co-ops
Get involved in our policy work and champion co-operatives.
Related content