7.5.1 The Mutuals Team

The Mutuals Team at the FCA is the registrar of mutual societies, including co-operative and community benefit societies, building societies, friendly societies and credit unions. As registrar, it has the powers to cancel the registration of a society, as well as to register new societies.

The role of registrar was transferred from the Financial Services Authority to the FCA under the powers of the Financial Services Act 2012 (Mutual Societies) Order 2013. Schedule 1 Paragraph 5(1) says “the FCA must maintain arrangements designed to enable it to determine whether persons are complying with requirements imposed on them by or under the legislation relating to mutual societies”.

This imposes a legal duty on the FCA to have systems in place to determine whether or not co-operative and community benefit societies are meeting their obligations under society law. Any society not fulfilling its duties under society law, as expressed in its registered rules, could have its registration cancelled (see Section 7.5.2). This could include matters connected to a society’s share capital, so to this extent the FCA and its Mutuals Team have a responsibility to ensure that societies act within society law when making a community share offer.

If you have any questions or suggestions for new information you would like to find in the Handbook, contact the team by email at communityshares@uk.coop