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Mutuals rebrand after merger completion

Mutuals rebrand after merger completion

Family Investments and Engage Mutual will from today (1 April) be named Onefamily, following the completion of a merger announced at the end of last year.

The deal, approved at the end of 2014, will form one of the largest mutual insurers in the UK, serving around one in 12 families and with more than £6bn of assets under management.

As part of the launch of the new brand, the mutual commissioned YouGov to carry out research that revealed that only 45 per cent of all British adults felt that their high street bank sold them the right products, with 38 per cent feeling that their bank is not trustworthy.

The study among 2,218 adults found just 6 per cent said mutual societies were untrustworthy. Of the sample, 1,502 revealed they provide financial support to a family member and almost half have done so to help them cover day-to-day living costs.

The mutual argued that withdrawal of government spending, combined with an absence of support from and low trust in banks means families are increasingly having to look within and across family generations for financial help.

Simon Markey, chief executive of Onefamily, said: “Our research tells us that families are struggling to find relevant products that meet their changing financial needs and so are turning to one another for help.

“OneFamily will look to combine our commercial success with enduring mutual values to offer a compelling combination of relevant products, excellent service and customer benefits, that genuinely put our members first.”

Mr Markey previously told FTAdviser that while many people prefer the mutual model - the research also showed over 60 per cent said they wanted a say in how profits are used and distributed - consolidation must happen at a faster pace for the mutual market to thrive, with more acquisitions on the cards this year.

He also mentioned that the mutual was keen to broaden its product range during 2015.

“We’re looking at specialised lending - things like first-time buyers and equity release - and the annuity markets, where we can take advantage of the current turmoil. I can’t give any details but expect announcements later in the first half,” explained Mr Markey.

peter.walker@ft.com

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