LV's move to go it alone is bold

Martin Shaw

Martin Shaw

However, it also has to be realistic about its growth options and needs to decide where its priorities for spending will be. It has £350mn of subordinated debt that it was expected to settle in 2023, and wants to make a significant investment in its IT. 

It also needs a solution to its dwindling membership, and that is something it can certainly learn about from Royal London as they acted a few years back to successfully reverse a declining membership base. And the interim chair can look back to experience of Reliance Mutual, where he was previously chair, and which went through a capital restricting exercise and subsequent demutualisation: the same cannot happen here.

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I was encouraged by recent comments in FTAdviser that markets need more competition from mutuals, and I hope advisers stand by that and work with LV, Royal London and the entire mutual sector to bring better products and more choice to consumers.

Martin Shaw is chief executive of the Association of Financial Mutuals