LV accused of new attack on members’ rights after announcing plans to drop representative panel
- LV held semi-annual meetings with appointed members to oversee the business
- A letter sent to those on the panel revealed that LV would abolish the group
- Members are concerned that this would undermine management accountability
LV has been accused of another attack on members’ rights after announcing plans to drop its representative panel.
The incumbent life insurer, which as a mutual owned by its customers, traditionally held semi-annual meetings with a group of members appointed by their peers to oversee the management of the business.
But in a letter sent to people on the 30-person panel this month, seen by the Daily Mail, LV revealed it would be scrapping the group in favor of a wider “online community of members”.
Concern: At this year’s LV AGM, scheduled for October 18, there will be no membership panel meeting
Several members expressed concern that this would undermine management accountability and reduce engagement, as customers – the majority of whom are seniors – would be deterred from joining an online forum.
Those who take part would essentially find themselves talking about each other in online meetings that would “descend into a tower of Babel,” one member feared.
Clarissa Johnson, an LV policyholder in her 60s, said: “I don’t know if the new community will be effective or if it’s a sticking bandage…I see this as another attack on members’ rights. ”
The panel usually met on the same day as LV’s annual general meeting and the insurer paid the travel expenses.
But at this year’s AGM, scheduled for October 18, there will be no member panel meeting – and no one will have their travel covered.
At a time when the cost of living crisis is eating into family budgets, the Mail understands that now few participants are sure to be present.
John Higgins, an 86-year-old LV member, said: “My own view is that online Zoom-like meetings of this nature will fall into a tower of Babel.” A real step back!
LV’s customer-owned structure has been key to its history. The 179-year-old company was founded to help Liverpool’s poor pay for decent burials, and its mutuality meant it offered products at reasonable prices without having to turn a profit for cash-hungry shareholders.
But LV angered its 1.2million members last year when then-Chairman and CEO Alan Cook and Mark Hartigan tried to sell the company to private equity sharks Bain Capital. . The members ultimately rejected the deal.
A spokesperson for LV said the online community “will allow participants to share their views more frequently on a variety of topics.”