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Group in call for clarity on mutuality

A mutual campaign group representing the majority of UK building societies is calling on the European Parliament to have a clear policy on mutuality.

After meeting key figures from the Parliament in Brussels, the Mutual Interest Campaign is calling on the EU to amend its policy on mutuality to reflect the needs of the financial services industry.

It says the European policy paper on mutuality is too long and cumbersome and does not make the EU&#39s position clear.

The directive on mutuals was originally drafted in 1996 but because of bureaucracy it has yet to take effect.

Mutual Interest Campaign secretary David O&#39Dowd says: “We want to see what the directive actually stands for and then pressure the EU to bring in amendments that may be required. There is some long work ahead of us and we want to make sure we are heading in the right direction.”

l Standard Life says it is planning to write to its traded endowment policyholders to tell them they have the right to apply for membership. By becoming members, policyholders are given a vote in any future ballot on demutualisation. But they are excluded for three years from any windfalls if Standard Life converts.

The Tep industry is cautiously welcoming the move, saying it will clarify the options available to 28,000 Standard Life traded endowment policyholders.

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