• Sunday, June 26, 2022

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FCA announces funeral plan providers it intends to authorise

By: Shelbin MS

THE Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) has published a list of providers it plans to authorise when the pre-paid funeral plans industry comes under its regulation from July 29.

There are 24 firms on the list, including the largest funeral plan providers.

Together, these firms hold approximately 87 per cent of existing customer plans. The FCA is still assessing a small number of providers’ applications and will give an update on these as soon as possible.

Until regulation comes into force, all of the providers in this market remain unregulated, meaning that customers do not have access to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), and the FCA has limited powers. The FCA continues to work with the industry to find longer-term solutions for customers of providers which have either not applied for authorisation or have withdrawn.

From July 29, all funeral plan providers will need to follow new FCA rules, which include a ban on cold calling and commission paid to intermediaries, and high standards on governance and financial resilience. Funeral plan holders will be able to refer complaints about a firm to the Ombudsman and will be covered by the FSCS if their provider goes out of business.

Emily Shepperd, executive director of authorisations at the FCA, said, “As this sector approaches regulation, we want to provide holders of pre-paid funeral plans with some reassurance, which is why we have published a list of the firms we intend to authorise.

“Our regulation will lead to higher standards in the market and boost consumer protection. We want to see an improvement in the way customers are treated, with better value products, better sales practices and better controls in place so consumers can be confident they will receive the funeral they expect.”

The list of firms the FCA intends to authorise are:

Alternative Planning Company Limited
Avalon (Europe) Limited
Avalon Trustee Company Limited
Celebration Of Life Planning Ltd
Central England Co-Operative Limited
Co-Op Funeral Plans Limited
Crystal Cremations Ltd
Dignity Funerals Limited
Distinct Funeral Plans Limited
Ecclesiastical Planning Services Limited
F A Albin & Sons Limited
Family Funerals Trust Limited
Freeman Brothers (this includes Peter Christopher Freeman and Bridgid Mary Freeman)
Golden Charter Limited
Golden Leaves Limited
Haven Personal Funeral Plans Ltd
Independent Funeral Planning Services Ltd
Low Cost Funeral Limited T/A Affordable Funerals (this includes Memoria Limited)
Peace Burials Limited
Plan With Grace Limited
Pure Cremation Planning Ltd
Southern Co-Operative Funerals Limited
The Independent Family Funeral Directors Ltd (this includes Fosters Family Funeral Directors)
William Alty & Sons Limited

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