Cirencester Friendly has increased its membership to more than 43,000, and premium income rose from £19.9m in 2019 to £21.4m in 2020, an increase of 7.5%.

The business reported that in excess of 45% of premium income was returned to its members through claims, bonuses, interest, and other benefits.

Total funds reached £159.9m, a 4% increase on 2019.

Cirencester Friendly said 94% of clams were paid, amounting to £7.8m in benefit payments.

2020 also saw the launch of GP24, a 24/7 virtual GP service.

Paul Hudson, chief executive at Cirencester Friendly, said: “I am absolutely delighted to report strong financial performance and membership growth in an unprecedented year in our 130 year history.

“As a result of very careful business continuity planning and preparation, we were able to continue operating without interruption and maintain great levels of service to our members and supporters.

“We are proud to provide exceptional support to our members and financial advisers, through our high claims paid ratio, bonuses and further enhancing member additional benefits with the addition of GP24.

“The excellent results are a testament to the hard-working staff and the financial advisers we work alongside.

“The society remains in a very strong position both financially and operationally to support our members when they need us most”.