Legal News for UK Co-ops and Mutuals

This is a blog where brief information about developments in UK Co-op and mutual law will be reported. Readers of this blog will also find Linda Barlow's Co-operatives UK Blog at helpful. For an network of academics working on co-ops, mutuals and social enterprises visit

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Location: Leicestershire, United Kingdom

Interested in sharing information and knowledge around legal issues for co-ops and social enterprises in the co-oplawnews blog and thoughts on random issues in the "real" blog.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Co-op Membership vs Share Ownership

This short report from Co-operativesUK highlights just how many more people are co-op members than directly hold shares in stock exchange listed companies. This is hardly a surprise and does not take account of indirect ownership of shares in companies via pension funds and insurance policies. However, as the report points out, that indirect ownership gives no voice in the enterprise whereas co-operative membership does.

The comparative international table of co-op membership and direct share ownership as a percentage of the population is interesting. Who would have thought that co-op membership penetration would be 40% in the USA and only 21% in the UK? US credit unions, energy and telecoms co-ops explain that, as the report points out. Those co-ops are very big in the US while UK co-op membership is mainly in consumer co-ops.


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