Frequently Asked Questions
A community benefit society (CBS) is an incorporated industrial and provident society that conducts business for the benefit of the community. A CBS trades to generate income to support its community purpose. CBSs are owned by their members who have a one member one vote say in annual general meeting decisions such as the election of directors. CBSs operate in accordance with their governing rules which set out the community purpose, the rights of members, how the CBS is governed and an asset lock. The asset lock ensures surplus profits are used towards its community purpose.
CBSs are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), separate to the FCA’s role as financial ombudsman. A CBS can raise finance by issuing shares or bonds to the public and pay a reasonable rate of interest.
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