It’s official: we make our members very happy

Nothing makes us happier than making our members happy. And this year everyone’s smiling. Our customer satisfaction survey revealed that 97% of our members were either ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’ with our overall service in 2016.

It’s a fantastic result and the best we’ve had in recent years, surpassing our previous scores of 94% in 2015 and 93% in 2014.

It’s great news for everyone – but how exactly did we manage it?

The secret to our success

You can find the answer by looking back in time. We’re a Friendly Society, which means we were set up to make a positive contribution to people’s lives. And our past has a big impact on how we work today.

What exactly is a Friendly Society?

Friendly Societies were originally set-up before the Welfare State existed. Back then, if you died or were unable to work because of illness, your family would receive very little help – if any – from the state.

So the founders of Foresters Friendly Society all agreed to pay into a fund which could be used for their mutual benefit in times of need. That was in 1834, and we’ve been run for our members ever since.

What does it mean for me?

That was a long time ago, but it still influences what we do today. Here are some of the things that make us different from other financial organisations:

1. We don’t have shareholders.

Friendly Societies are a type of mutual – an organisation which is owned and run by its members. This means we have no shareholders to pay or answer to, so our profits go to our members and members help decide the direction our company takes. We re-invest part of our profits in improving our customer service – which seems to be working!

2. We’re all about affordable saving.

Foresters Friendly Society was set up to help people help themselves, by saving now for a time when they would need financial help in the future. That’s still our goal, which is why we focus on affordable savings.

We aim to make saving accessible to as many people as possible, so we offer a range of simple, flexible and affordable products – with our Tax Exempt Savings Plans you can start saving £25 a month for an adult or a child. And our ISAs have a minimum level of £50 a month or a £500 lump sum investment. We want to help people save regularly to build up a nest egg over time.

3. We take our responsibility seriously.

Because we’re run for the benefit of our members (not shareholders), we think very carefully about how we approach our savings and investments and prefer to take a balanced, long-term, lower risk approach.

4. You can get extra tax-free savings.

Most people don’t know that, thanks to our unique legal status as a Friendly Society, we can give you tax free savings in addition to your annual ISA tax-free savings allowance, which means that you can save up to a maximum of £25 a month in our Tax Exempt Savings Plan. Please be aware that tax rules may change and depend on individual circumstances.

5. Friendly by name. And by nature.

We’ve been supporting families since 1834. And we see no reason to stop now. We’re more than just a financial services provider – we’re a community of people and we care for each other.

When you become a policyholder you automatically become a member. That means the opportunity to have a say in how we’re run, and all kinds of extra benefits including optical and dental care and the chance to apply for discretionary grants from us. Plus we organise social and community events for our members too.

In a way, it’s no surprise our members are happy with us – we really care about them. It’s what our whole business is built on, it has been for over 180 years and it’s going to stay that way.

The content of this article is for information purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. We do not offer financial advice. If you’re unsure as to the suitability of a product you should seek advice from a Financial Adviser. You may have to pay for this advice.

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