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Thursday, February 1, 2024

FCA begins regulation of funeral plans

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The Monetary Conduct Authority has begun its long-awaited regulation of the funeral plan market from right now.

The FCA has authorised 26 suppliers to this point however has already rejected an software from one supplier, One Life Funeral Planning Ltd, which has the proper to enchantment.

The watchdog stated the regulated corporations present 1.6 million plans, primarily pre-paid packages, which make up 87% of the market.

The FCA says that regulation of the sector will carry “larger requirements and increase client safety.”

The Monetary Companies Compensation Scheme has additionally confirmed this week that funeral plan suppliers will now be coated by its scheme which means that it’s going to compensate the victims of any failed suppliers.

The brand new FCA guidelines embrace:

  • A ban on chilly calling
  • A ban on fee funds to intermediaries, resembling funeral administrators
  • A requirement for a funeral plan to ship a funeral except the client dies inside two years of taking out the plan, through which case a full refund should be supplied

Customers may make a criticism to the Monetary Ombudsman Service (FOS) even when the problem they’re complaining about occurred earlier than July 2022 if the agency was registered with the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) on the time the problem occurred.  

Some 13 corporations that utilized earlier than 1 March 2022, however haven’t been authorised, have till 31 October 2022 to switch their plans to authorised corporations or refund their clients. These plans are usually not coated by FCA regulation or FOS and FSCS safety till they’re transferred to authorised suppliers.

Emily Shepperd, govt director of authorisations on the FCA, stated: “We’re happy that 87% of the market is now beneath regulation. With our new guidelines in place, customers will likely be higher protected after they want it essentially the most.

“It’s unlucky that quite a few corporations selected to exit the market, leaving clients, who had sought peace of thoughts for his or her family members, understandably anxious. It’s a good final result for customers that some suppliers have stepped in to offer funerals for the shoppers of those suppliers at brief discover. We additionally proceed to have interaction with the trade whereas it really works on a longer-term answer.”

The FCA says the extension of its regulation follows the affirmation of the FCA’s plans to introduce a brand new client responsibility from July 2023. The regulator says the patron responsibility will apply to funeral plan suppliers.

  • Checklist of suppliers the FCA has authorised:
    • Various Planning Firm Restricted (this contains Alternative and Alternative funeral plans from Funeral Companions)
    • Avalon (Europe) Restricted
    • Avalon Trustee Firm Restricted
    • Celebration Of Life Planning Ltd
    • Central England Co-Operative Restricted (this contains CEC FPL and CEC Funeral Plans)
    • Co-Op Funeral Plans Restricted (this contains Co-op Funeral Plans and Co-op Funeralcare)
    • Crystal Cremations Ltd
    • Dignity Funerals Restricted
    • Distinct Funeral Plans Restricted
    • Ecclesiastical Planning Companies Restricted (this contains Excellent Alternative Funeral Plans)
    • F A Albin & Sons Restricted
    • Household Funerals Belief Restricted
    • Freeman Brothers (this contains Peter Christopher Freeman and Brigid Mary Freeman)
    • Golden Constitution Restricted (this contains Golden Constitution and localfuneral.co.uk)
    • Golden Leaves Restricted
    • Haven Private Funeral Plans Ltd (this contains Haven Private Funeral Plans and Haven)
    • Unbiased Funeral Planning Companies Ltd (this contains IFPS and The IFPS)
    • Low Value Funeral Restricted (this contains Inexpensive Funerals and Memoriafunerals.co.uk)
    • M&F Funeral Companies Ltd (this contains M&F Funeral Companies)
    • Open Pay as you go Funerals Restricted (this contains Open Pay as you go Funeral Plans and Open Funeral Plans)
    • Peace Burials Restricted (this contains Peace Funerals)
    • Plan With Grace Restricted
    • Pure Cremation Funeral Planning Ltd
    • Southern Co-Operative Funerals Restricted (this contains Southern Co-op and The Co-operative Funeralcare)
    • The Unbiased Household Funeral Administrators Ltd (this contains Fosters Household Funeral Administrators)
    • William Alty & Sons Restricted


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