From This is Money:
Yet this year the dancing will be more frenetic – and not just because of the Chilli Pipers’ reputation for ‘jock and roll’. It is because the 15th annual conference of the Association of Friendly Societies will be the last.
‘The skirl of the Pipers’ bagpipes will provide a fitting swan song,’ remarked one member booked for the two-and-ahalfday conference costing £359.
The AFS’s demise is indicative of the troubled state the sector finds itself in.
For numerous member-owned societies, formed to provide working men with funeral and sickness benefits in exchange for a small, weekly payment, the writing is on the wall.
There are 45 friendly societies that belong to the AFS with assets of £15bn, the biggest being LV=, the old Liverpool Victoria. Among their ranks are the weird and wacky – such as Oddfellows, Druids and Anglo Saxons – selling a mixture of with-profits, income protection and child trust funds.
Most executives are male, middle-aged and friendly societ…