23 August 2023
A focus on challenges faced by mutuals, priorities and The Mutual Way
Challenges & Opportunities
Despite there being currently around 130 mutuals/nonprofit insurers in the UK, which include friendly societies (like us) and cooperatives, there is a growing concern that sadly many, especially the younger generations, do not seem to understand the concept of mutuality and how the mutual difference can benefit them.
This is why one of the key elements for the sector is to focus on educating others about mutuality and spreading awareness, because once you understand the concept, what’s not to like?
As well as trying to build consumer awareness, the UK mutual sector has experienced many other challenges, including the implementation of regulatory changes both in terms of cost and resources, corporate governance, identifying and mitigating risks and digital transformation programmes.
New ways of operating in a greener/more sustainable way have been investigated and implemented, with the overarching aim of having a positive impact on climate change and strengthening ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) goals. Keeping up with technology advancements and embracing digitalisation will have been a focus for many, as well as retaining relevant, attractive and compliant products and services. Service standards are also an important feature for the sector and keeping up with customer expectation, especially here at Sheffield Mutual.
There are many opportunities for the sector to grow but to do this, it is vital to remain adaptable and continue to offer that competitive advantage and service standards our members have come to expect.
The Mutual Way
Sheffield Mutual has also signed up to the ‘The Mutual Way’, which has been endorsed by the Association of Financial Mutuals. The Mutual Way means that an organisation is committed to those values and is constantly seeking ways to better serve its customers or members.
Customers rightly demand high standards from the financial firms they put their money and trust into. The Mutual Way sets out what consumers can expect from a financial mutual. Where you see the logo, it means that the firm has committed itself to working in the best interests of its customers. We have summarised what this means below:
The Society strives to live its values, always putting its members best interests at its very heart. It is right there in our mission statement: Prioritising our members’ interests, we aim to provide an exceptional and trustworthy service through easy-to-understand products, with the strongest returns possible. It is also backed up by the values we have on the walls of our office and cemented throughout our very core; Member Focus, Responsibility, Fairness, Authenticity, Loyalty, Trustworthiness.
This is something myself and the team are particularly passionate about and something that you can be sure will always be a priority at Sheffield Mutual.