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Friendly Societies are mutual organisations that are owned by and run for their Members. They have no shareholders and are not quoted on the stock exchange. Largely set up for insurance, pensions, savings and loan-like purposes, many served a social purpose too. At first, many Friendly Society meetings were held in the local pub!

For Society's like Cirencester Friendly, who offered sickness protection, Members paid a regular membership fee and went to the Society’s meetings to discuss its rules and running. If they became sick they would receive benefits to help pay their bills. Although Friendly Societies are now regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) the principle behind them remains the same.

With no shareholders to pay, our surpluses go to our Members, and are reinvested to provide you with higher levels of service and innovative new products.

The Association of Financial Mutuals

The Association of Financial Mutuals (AFM) represents mutual insurers, Friendly Societies and other financial mutuals in the UK. The AFM came together as a result of the merger of the Association of Mutual Insurers and the Association of Friendly Societies and currently has 39 Member companies.