The Association of Friendly Societies (AFS) has voted in favour of merging with the Association of Mutual Insurers (AMI), to create a new trade body representing the UK's mutual insurance sector.
The decision to merge the two associations was taken in part due to the significant overlap between membership.
Its proposed merger will now be put to a meeting of the AMI and subject to approval, the new combined mutual trade association is expected to be fully operational from early next year.
Newly appointed AFS president Paul Hudson comments: "This is an important move which will lead to the formation of a single trade association for mutual insurers. A single association will lead to more effective engagement with Government, the regulators and other policymakers."
"It also means that, as a sector, we are better able to communicate the benefits of the mutual model to existing and potential policyholders."
The AMI represents 98% of mutual insurers in the UK. Its 36 member organisations represent 15 million policyholders and £83bn of funds.
Meanwhile, the AFS has 45 members and manages the investments of five million people, with total funds under management of £15bn.
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