Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

VLearn | July 20, 2017

Scroll to top


No Comments

Mutuals & Cooperatives, a better model? | VLearn

  • On May 7, 2013

Review Overview

Rate this Content


VLearn was recently commissioned by Mutuo to articulate the diversity and strength of the mutual sector despite the severely challenging economic climate. Mutuo work to bring cohesion to this remarkably robust sector and to illuminate the virtues of an ownership model which places customers at the center of its strategy.

More about mutuals…

What is a mutual?

A mutual is a business owned by its customers or its employees, or a combination of the two.

The origins of mutual business

Mutuals have been around in the UK for more than 200 years. They were established in response to the failure of the market to provide the goods or services that people needed.  Mutuals exist to serve the interests of their members, and often the wider community.

Mutuals today

The largest and best-established mutuals in the UK tend to be either co-operatives, building societies or friendly societies and mutual insurers. These types of business can trace their origins to Victorian legislation that was written to provide an alternative to joint stock companies.

Since the early 1990s, many new mutuals have been established from the conversion of existing state owned or municipally owned entities. Examples include NHS Foundation Trusts, housing mutuals, co-operative trust schools and leisure services trusts. Today the Coalition Government is keen to see the development of more of these types of businesses, spun out of public bodies.

Mutuals in the UK now account for £112bn of turnover each year, employ 1 million people and are present in many different types of business.

What about demutualisation?

Demutualisation occurs when mutuals are dissolved and their remaining value is shared out among the remaining members, or when they are converted to companies.

Mutuals were not established with the intention of demutualising them. In the 1980s, mutuals were seen as an old fashioned form of business, particularly in the financial services industry. Many building societies were converted into banks, but most of these ultimately failed in the 2008 financial crisis. Many mutual insurers were similarly converted to companies and have since been sold on or merged with other joint stock firms.


Tags: Mutuals, Cooperative, Coop, Mutuo, Peter Hunt, Ownership Models, MBA, Business, Business Studies,

Further Reading: Type “Mutuals” into the searchbox or click this link.. Mutuals Cooperatives

Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrEmail this to someone
5.00 avg. rating (97% score) - 2 votes

Submit a Comment