Definition of friendly society

A friendly society, sometimes referred to as a mutual society, is a financial organisation owned by its members and not shareholders. Historically people invesed in such socities to protect themselves and their families from hardship in the absence of the welfare state. These days there is very little difference between a friendly society and a building society but historically friendly socities were set up to provide insurance-style services while building societies were set up to help their members buy houses. [1]

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