Mutual society Cirencester Friendly has released its 130th Annual Report and Accounts, showing continued growth during 2019, with premium income, membership and funds under management all increasing.
Membership increased to more than 42,000 and premium income rose to £19.9 million in 2019, an increase of more than nine per cent. Being a mutual organisation, which is owned by and run for the benefit of its mmbers, 49 per cent of this premium income was returned to members through claims, bonuses, interest and other benefits. Total funds reached £153.8 million, a 6.3% increase on 2018.
The Society is monitoring the impact of the Coronavirus carefully and with the help of the Chief Actuary, has conducted a post balance sheet review, including running stressed scenarios that has shown solvency and liquidity remain strong and within Board risk tolerances.
Paul Hudson, Chief Executive at Cirencester Friendly said: “I am pleased to report that premium income, membership and funds under management have all increased in what was a very successful year for Cirencester Friendly, a year in which we also relocated to a new purpose-built Head Office.
We are proud to provide exceptional support to our Members and Advisers, through our high claims paid ratio, bonuses and growing additional benefits including Children’s Critical Illness Support.
The excellent results are a testament to the exceptional support from Financial Advisers, backed by the hard work of the Society’s employees.
In what has been a quite extraordinary start to the year, the Society remains in a very strong position both financially and operationally to support our Members and the independent Financial Advisers we work alongside. With the wonderful commitment and dedication of the Society’s employees, I am confident we can maintain our servicing levels and be there for our Members when they need us most”
Andy Morris, Finance Director at Cirencester Friendly said: “2019 represented a record year for the Society, in terms of business growth, balance sheet stability and membership. In these challenging times, it is reassuring to know that the enhanced financial strength and resilience of the Society means we can be there to support our Members now and long into the future. I am very proud to be able to present these results to our loyal Members and committed staff.”
Based on the Holloway style income protection contract, the Cirencester Conservative Association Working Men’s Benefit Society was formed in 1890 – soon followed by the women’s and Juvenile Societies.
Throughout the early 1900s the Society’s Membership continued to grow and its name shortened to ‘The Cirencester Conservative Benefit Society’. By the 1960s the Society had assets of over £1.5 million and was renamed ‘The Cirencester Benefit Society’.