Andrew Haigh of Engage Mutual extols the benefits of friendly societies:
- A society is owned by its members, which means it does not have to pay dividends to shareholders. All profits are ploughed back into returns to customers. This allows them to typically offer products with low premiums, making them more widely accessible to a range of family incomes
- They benefit from a benign tax regime, which allows them to offer tax-free returns
- Friendly societies and other mutuals display a wide responsibility for their customers and communities
- They are modern financial organisations at the forefront in delivering financial products that are as socially relevant as ever and still available to all
- The principles and philosophies that prompted the first friendly societies to be created still hold true
Raising standards of financial capability is one area where Engage Mutual focuses its efforts. From working with a number of other mutual insurers in the creation and launch of the funtosave.org website, which teaches children aged four to seven about money and introduces the concept of saving; to delivering lessons in financial services and money management to teenagers, Engage Mutual is typical of the wider responsibility adopted by many friendly societies towards their customers and communities.