A new UK financial services company is launching this spring, aiming to better and more fully meet the needs of a community that has been let down by the financial services industry. The Military Mutual (TMM), will officially launch on 29th April 2015 (www.themilitarymutual.com) offering a range of insurance solutions that will better match the varied and often complex needs of military personnel – Regulars, Reservists and Veterans from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force and their family members.
TMM has been created to support both those serving and the wider Military Family and embodies the bonds of loyalty, trust and responsibility which are enshrined in The Armed Forces Covenant. The new company is led by distinguished ex-military personnel from all three services in conjunction with experts in mutuality whose values mirror those of HM Armed Forces.
With the major political parties committed to fostering greater diversity and choice in financial services, TMM’s launch also represents a major boost for the mutual sector. As a mutual, the organisation is owned by its members and is free of outside shareholder interests. Products will be simple, tailored to member needs and surpluses can be used to benefit the members and the Military Family.
Today, marking the 60-day countdown to launch, TMM will be offering its first two products, home and motor cover, from its dedicated Portsmouth service centre – 0800 088 2283. The centre is staffed by people trained to understand military life and its situations, and many of whom have connections to the military. True to its mutual ethos, TMM is spending the next two months listening to members, getting feedback and testing new ideas before the full launch of the business in April.
The timing of the launch is significant. The return of troops from Afghanistan puts in sharper focus the need to better respond to the financial services needs of military personnel. Nationwide research for TMM revealed that two in five members of the Military Family (39%) say they do not trust traditional financial services providers. When it came to considering how traditional insurance companies had failed to fully meet the needs of former or current members of the Military Family, the top concerns raised comprised:
Automatically putting up insurance renewals 45%
Operating policies to the letter, not showing any discretion to my particular needs or circumstances 36%
Bombarding me with jargon 33%
Not giving me the cover I need 32%
Not taking the security of my living arrangements into account when quoting 29%
Raising the price of my car insurance even when the car is parked in the barracks 23%
Not taking queries from my partner when I am away on a tour of duty 21%
TMM has built a business based on what members want and deserve – a business based on better value delivered through better values.
The perfect financial services company would….
Design products to meet specific challenges the Military Family faces 41%
Look after and respect veterans 39%
Not have any shareholders 38%
Offer 24/7 back up by people that understand the Armed Forces 32%
Be led by people that understand the Armed Forces 31%
Re-invest profits to help the Military Family 28%
Insurance needs: what’s more important now than it was in the past two years? (Top responses)
UK-based operation 60%
Quick turnaround on claims 58%
Not paying excessive bonuses to directors 55%
Products that offer the best cover 50%
Products that are simple to understand 49%
Putting customers before shareholders 45%
Major General (Ret’d) Sir Sebastian Roberts, Chairman of The Military Mutual said: “For too long, members of the Military Family have been a square peg in a round hole when it comes to financial services. Their needs are different to the average consumer and the financial services community has never really woken up to this. Those that have served their country, or are transitioning into civilian life after a tour of duty deserve better. Better value, better values.”
General (Ret’d) Sir Nick Parker, Director of The Military Mutual added: “The Military Mutual will deliver products that are appropriate and competitively priced: a focus that finally puts military personnel first. True to the mutual ethos, we will be taking a very different approach to our launch – ensuring that we have direct conversations with our members during the first 60 days, receiving feedback and listening to member experiences – ensuring the member is central in shaping the rest of the services and product propositions that will be available when we launch fully this April.”
Martin Shaw, Chief Executive of the Association of Financial Mutuals (AFM) said: “The launch of TMM is a welcome new addition to the Mutual industry – the mutual sector recently launched the Mutuals Manifesto which highlights that, in order for consumers to get a fair deal from the financial services industry, we need to see more mutuals capable of challenging PLC banks and insurers, and called for the policy action to remove barriers to the development of new mutual. TMM is the exception that proves the rule that currently launching a new financial mutual is almost impossible. What this continues to demonstrate is the increasing role mutuality offers not only as part of a compelling vision for the broader financial services sector but more importantly improving people’s lives.”