UK Co-op Law Reform 2013-2014: History of the Changes

Law reform for co-ops and bencoms including the replacement of the old “industrial and provident society” name by “co-operative and community benefit society” is powering ahead in 2013-2014.

For an overview and some of the rationale see the powerpoint slides here and listen to the Co-op Fortnight lecture.

Consolidation: New Co-operative and Community Societies Bill 2013

Consolidation of existing  primary and secondary legislation has been in process since January 2012′s announcement from No 10 Downing Street.

On 26th September 2013, the Law Commission published an explanation of the process:

Law Commsn text re Consol Bill 09.13 ;

as well as the draft Bill:


the documents to be submitted as part of its journey through Parliament:



and its Table of Origins.


were published by the Law Commission for consultation. Responses to the Consultation were needed by 15th November 2013.

Co-operatives UK submitted a brief response Here supported by a longer report. I agree with those and submitted my own short response.

Changes to the Law to Coincide with the Consolidation

July 2013 the HMT Consultn IPS 07-09.13 document on Changes to IPS Law was published. Here it is as a PDF. This is part of the Consolidation process but deals with implementing changes to the limit on withdrawable share capital and the detailed application of insolvency rescue proceedures.

In August 2013 three draft Statutory Instruments were issued by HM Treasury to anyone who had asked for them. They are the planned legal instruments to bring about three of the changes dealt with in the July 2013 Consultation.

Here they are in PDF Form:

Copy of mutuals register order draft of 7 Aug 2013

Share Capital Increase SI final draft

Copy of Investigations Regulations draft 7 Aug 2013

A fourth draft SI came out on 5th September 2013. Here it is:

Industrial and Provident Societies (Arrangements, Reconstructions and Ad…

This later version of the draft SI was issued later in September together with these comments and questions

Here is my detailed response to all but the last draft SI:

Consultn IS submission 08.13

and here is my supplementary response on the later draft SI and the questions raised:

IS Supplementary IPS HMT Consultn submission 16.09.13

Government Response to Consultation

Here is the Government response of 18th December 2013 to the consultation on changes to coincide with the consolidation.

Lord Naseby’s Bill to Resolve the Share Capital Issue

In July 2013, the Mutuals Redeemable Shares Bill  was presented to the House of Lords to permit co-ops, bencoms, friendly societies and mutual insurers issue redeemable share capital while retaining their mutual identity. the bill has been sponsored and supported by Mutuo. Here is my analysis of the Bill and its rationale.


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