The Industrial Provident Society is dead, long live the Co-operative Society/Community Benefit Society article banner image

On 1 August 2014, the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 came into force.

The Act replaces the ‘industrial and provident society’ legal form with two new legal forms:

  • co-operative society
  • community benefit society

Before 1 August 2014 all societies registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965 (or its predecessors) were legally referred to as ‘industrial and provident societies’, whatever they called themselves.

From 1 August they will be referred to as ‘registered societies’.

The Act simply consolidates previous legislation but it does not change any legal requirements. The impact on industrial and provident societies registered before 1 August 2014 (pre-2014 society) is therefore minimal.

However, if the letterhead, website and other formal documentation of a pre-2014 society describes it as an ‘industrial and provident society’, the financial conduct authority suggests that the society could change the reference from ‘industrial and provident society’ to ‘[name of society] is a registered society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014.’

It would be incorrect for the pre-2014 society to refer to itself as a ‘community benefit society’ or a ‘co-operative society’ registered under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014’.

Registered societies may wish to include their registration number in their description in official documents because, whilst names and legal forms may change, registration numbers remain constant and provide an easy access to societies’ public records on the Mutual Register maintained by the financial conduct authority.”

If you would like further information on the Community Benefit Societies and Credit Unions Act 2010 or any other aspect of social housing, please contact our commercial property team through our head of social housing Keith Wright. You can call the commercial property team on 01872 265100 or email: