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‘Mutuals are vital to the economy’

Mutuals are a vital part of the economy, says the Parliamentary all-party group for building societies and financial mutuals.

The organisation has completed its third hearing in an inquiry into the extent to which mutual businesses contribute to the economy and to society.

Evidence was heard from Which?, Royal London, Police Mutual and the newly formed Association of Mutual Insurers. Which? said mutuals offer a significant advantage over plcs because they do not have to pay dividends to shareholders and mutuals deliver better returns to customers.

A full summary of the inquiry will be published on December 9 to coincide with the publication of the Myners inquiry into the corporate governance of mutuals.

Chairman Adrian Bailey said: “We have heard from the evidence given to the com-mittee today that mutuals are a vital part of the economy. The fact that mutuals do not have to pay dividends to shareholders gives them a distinct advantage over their plc rivals.”

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