FCA reveals funeral plan providers likely to be authorised under new regulations
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published a list of providers it intends to authorise when the pre-paid funeral plans industry comes under its regulation from 29 July.
There are 24 firms are on the list, including the largest funeral plan providers. The full list of those to be authorised can be found here.
Together these firms hold approximately 87% 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the industry to find longer-term solutions for customers of providers which have not applied for authorisation or have withdrawn.
From 29 July, 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.”