Allow the creation of Renewable Energy Co-op's with the Financial Conduct Authority.
Why is this important?
Since the Spring 2014 a significant number of new Co-operative Societies (previously often known as members co-ops) have been refused registration. This is because the FCA has unilaterally decided that renewable energy co-ops in England, Wales and Scotland are not legitimate co-operatives as they do not directly trade with their members.
In fact there is no requirement in the 7 principles of the International Co-operative Alliance (http://www.cda.coop/coopprinciples.htm) on co-operatives to trade with their members and in the UK the very tight and highly complex regulatory requirements of the energy supply industry effectively prevents co-ops selling electricity directly to its members.
Renewable energy co-ops do fall within the definition of a Co-operative and the FCA have no justification in making this decision. The FCA should register any co-operative that complies with the international principles of co-operation and not impose additional constraints, such as requiring Co-operative Societies to trade directly with their members.
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