Legion Scotland is encouraging all its clubs to register with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to protect members and committees from future difficulties. Geoff Morrey, a regional clubs relationship manager at Royal British Legion who is supporting Legion Scotland with this initiative, answers your questions. 

What is it recommended that clubs do, and why?

Most clubs in Scotland are unincorporated associations and that means that legally they’re just a group of individuals that get together to do something in common. At the moment, if there’s any liability against them – say if a club went bust and left debts – the creditors would be legally entitled to pursue that debt from all of the members. Not just the committee, every single member. 

By registering with the FCA, your club will be granted limited liability status and it becomes a legal entity in its own right. If someone has a claim against the club, they can no longer

take it out against members. 

What needs to be done to register with the FCA?

The first thing is to contact myself (077762 44639) or Lorna Kane (0131 550 1548) in the Legion Scotland office. The committee will then need to call a Special General Meeting so that members can agree on whether or not to register with the FCA. 

Additionally, clubs at the moment have rulebooks of all shapes and sizes. We’ve worked with Claire Armstrong, CEO, and the National Board of Trustees to make a model rulebook that can be registered with the FCA. A club needs to adopt this rulebook in order to register – the two things go hand-in-hand. We appreciate change is difficult, but the rulebook is designed to allow clubs as much flexibility as possible, while still meeting FCA standards. 

There is some admin to be done during the process, but we’re here to support committees in doing it. We contact the FCA on their behalf, and it’s usually very straightforward. All clubs have been invited to a presentation on the subject. 

Are other clubs taking these steps?

All 300 Royal British Legion clubs in England and Wales are registered with the FCA, as well as those in Northern Ireland. Around a third of Legion Scotland clubs have also registered so far.