RIP Industrial and Provident Societies


In May 2014 The Co-operatives & Community Benefit Societies Act was passed.

This consolidated act replaces the myriad of laws and regulations (namely the 1965, 1967, 1975, 1978 and 2002 Industrial and Provident Societies Acts; the Friendly and Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1968; the Co-operatives and Community Benefit Societies Act 2003; and the Co‑operative and Community Benefit Societies and Credit Unions Act 2010), that have emerged over a period of 50 years or more, applying to what were collectively known as Industrial Provident Societies (IPS).

Henceforth, the IPS label no longer exists and is replaced by either Co-operatives (run for the benefit of their members) or Community Benefit Societies also known as Bencoms (run for the benefit of society).

The new Act has re-ordered the various requirements of the previous acts, modernising, simplifying and updating the language.

Other measures include:

  • raising the limit on the amount of withdrawable share capital that a registered society may hold, and raising the limit on individual investments from £20,000 to £100,000
  • allowing for the electronic submission of registration documents.

For more details on the implications of the Act please see Co-operatives UK There is also a One minute guide – Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 on the FCA website.