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About UKSA

About UKSA

We are a not-for-profit membership organisation led solely by volunteers.

We:

  • enjoy the process of investing, especially in individual companies
  • believe that investors have responsibilities to society as well as rights
  • also want to help all investors and savers, whether they are UKSA members or not, and to be a trusted source of truths that the financial sector will not willingly publicise
  • are resolutely independent of the financial and corporate sectors, which we believe makes us quite distinct
  • are constituted as a company limited by guarantee, answerable only to our full members, each of whom has a vote at our annual meeting.

Our current priorities are:

  • help individual investors to help themselves and others:
    • by steering them towards reliable and independent sources of financial guidance and learning
    • by offering social and other events where members can participate, listen, learn and socialise
  • increase public awareness of the way the whole savings industry operates:
    • to generate the force for any needed consumer interest changes
    • and restore the responsibilities, rights and influence for good of the individual investor.

We offer both free and subscription memberships.

Structure

  • Our Board of Directors is elected by the full members. 
  • We remain determinedly independent, including financially independent, of any organisation or institution that we might have cause to criticise.
  • We are funded entirely by membership subscriptions and voluntary donationsFull membership costs £25 in the first year and £50 per year thereafter.
  • We offer Associate Membership at no cost to those who support our aims but may not want the benefits of Full Membership.
  • We are a Company Limited by Guarantee with a MemorandumArticles and By-Laws.

Our founding ethos

The Association was formed in 1992 by a small group of founder members at a time when there was a major public enquiry into how companies were governed – the Cadbury Commission. It was energised initially by outrage at the excessive pay of utility company chairmen post-privatisation, allied to a determination to use shareholder power to do something about it. In the archives of the Cadbury Commission can be found correspondence with UKSA’s original leaders including discussion papers on the “rights and responsibilities” of shareholders.

Over time, our more active volunteers became more aware of the extent to which there was a deep conflict of interest between savers and investors generally, and the retail finance industry.  An important supporter of UKSA was the late Lord Paul Myners, who urged us to maintain total independence from the finance sector, in order to be able to speak out on matters of public interest.  One of Lord Myners’ major concerns was the limited scope within the business models of “professional” investors to engage as owner with the many companies in which they held shares, and he argued that this was effectively leading to “the ownerless corporation”.

Over the years we have seen a succession of high-calibre people join as members, frequently but not always retired, keen to put effort into what they believed is the UK national interest. These volunteers came from a wide range of backgrounds including consulting engineers, retired civil servants, actuaries and accountants. They power the initiative we call Savers Take Control.

Responsibility to society, not just personal enrichment, remains in our DNA.

What does UKSA offer?

Many activities depend on what individual members arrange.

They include:

  • regional meetings for London & South East, Western and Northern regions
  • visits by invitation to individual companies hosted by top management
  • visits by invitation to regulators, NGOs, accountants, lawyers and other professional services firms
  • access by invitation to brokers’ presentations
  • ability to contribute to policy and campaigning work in your skill area
  • a financial education website, HonestMoneyNow, providing independent guidance for investors and savers
  • a regular newsletter
  • an AGM.

A central office provides support, such as circulation of notices and responding to members’ queries.

Who benefits from UKSA membership?

Individual DIY investors/shareholders. Shareholding – investment in companies, directly or indirectly – should be a core component of any long-term savings plan. So our target support extends beyond shareholders to those who ought to be – or are planning to be – shareholders but don’t understand enough to realise it.

For example:

  • if you plan to save but don’t know what to save into. Particularly if you don’t trust the advice commercially available
  • if you know something about saving but need guidance from a trusted source to build on that knowledge
  • if you know a lot about saving and want to contribute that knowledge, without charge, to those less experienced
  • if you are particularly interested in the science and art of investment in shares and want to join an informal community of like-minded people
  • if you understand that the rights of private shareholders are important and want to support a fight for those rights, particularly voting rights
  • if you are already shareholders and want to exercise the responsibilities as well as the rights of share ownership (particularly the responsibility of approving the appointment, pay and major actions of members of the board)
  • if you have a deep knowledge of some aspect of saving and investment and wish to join UKSA’s policy team seeking to improve the legal, regulatory or practical details of the savings landscape
  • if you wish to form social or technical groups of all kinds, for which they believe UKSA’s membership will be a valuable source of participants
  • if you don’t belong in any of these categories but believe UKSA acts for the good of society as a whole and wish to support us
  • if you don’t belong in any of these categories but have friends or family who do.

Why all of these?

Because to achieve change we have to bring pressure on Government. Real change must come from businesses, their owners (shareholders), their consumers (customers) and the society they operate in (other key stakeholders).

Businesses respond to their key stakeholders, including their consumers and providers of equity finance (shareholders).

In turn, Government responds to those businesses and their key stakeholders as they will all be voters. It will be votes that count. So the size of our support – from all sources – determines our influence for change.

For even more about UKSA browse the drop-down menu under 'About' and the main-menu tabs, particularly 'News' and 'Policy Work'.

Renew your membership

Renewing your UKSA membership is quick and easy, ensuring uninterrupted access to all the advantages of membership.

Responsible Investing

 

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"Cogent, relevant, well-informed, astute and important" The Times

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The UKSA Newsletter

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