Changes to pre-paid funeral plan complaints


From 29 July pre-paid funeral plans will be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

It is best practice to resolve complaints at the first point of contact. For appointed representatives, plan providers can support with complaints, while customers can ultimately go to the Financial Ombudsman Service if they do not feel their complaint has been resolved.

Anyone who wishes to continue selling pre-paid plans will need to look into authorisation by the FCA or become a register plan provider’s appointed or introducer appointed representative by 29 July. It’s important to note the rules only cover the pre-paid sector and, for members and/or their clients who wish to complain about a member firm of SAIF for any other reason not relating to a funeral plan, SAIF has its own procedure.

But it’s vital members fully understand the new process.

Customers and anyone the FCA considers an ‘eligible complainant’ will be able to complain about a pre-paid funeral plan in relation to events that take place after 29 July.

However, they can also complain about events before then if the provider was a member of the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) at the time of the event they are complaining about and the customer has not previously made the same complaint to the FPA.

If a customer does make a complaint after 29 July you’ll need to address it and look into it within the timeframes set out by the FCA’s dispute rules.

If the customer is not happy with your response they can then ask the FOS to get involved.

A handler will then look at the case and try to resolve it. But if either side does not agree with the solution put forward then it will be referred to an ombudsman whose decision is legally binding.

The FOS will then tell you how to put things right.

You can read more about the regulation of funeral plans here. To learn more about the Financial Ombudsman Service, click here.

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