Dispelling the myths

words: Malcolm Flanders

Golden Charter’s Director of Emerging Market Insight, highlights four common misconceptions about Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulation…

1. “Becoming an appointed or introducer appointed representative will greatly change how our business operates”

There is no question that there will be some changes to how we all work.

However, the FCA has assured us that as a planning company registered with the Funeral Planning Authority, we and our partners will already be working to many of the customer focused standards set out.

Becoming an Appointed Representative will allow your interactions with customers to remain much as they are now. While there will be some additional steps required as part of the sales process, you can be confident that any additional guides or prompts have been designed to follow the natural conversation flow you have with families. They have been created with input from independent funeral directors like you to minimise potential disruption to your relationships with the customer.

In the case of Introducer Appointed Representatives, it will require more significant changes. In choosing that route you’ll no longer be able to speak to families around their detailed planning needs. You will only be able to take down basic details, and pass these to Golden Charter.

2. “Each seller has to be an Approved Person”

Not everyone who sells plans has to become an Approved Person. In many businesses, there probably will only be one. Approved Persons are those who have a governing responsibility or significant influence, or responsibility for your regulated funeral plan activity. Exactly who Approved Persons are will differ between firms, so your business manager will be there to help with identifying these individuals.

3. “Golden Charter Appointed Representatives won’t be able to accept allocations from other providers”

You’ll be free to carry out the funeral services of the funeral plans you hold with other providers, without being required to become an Appointed Representative of that company.

Members of one of the recognised trade associations who are Appointed Representatives of other providers or choose another route to regulation will still be able to accept and carry out funerals related to our plans.

Funeral directors who partner with Golden Charter will be able to accept plans from other providers, just as you can now.

4. “I will have to pay more than £250 to apply”

The FCA is indeed charging funeral plan providers a £250 fee for each Appointed Representative it works with on application (and less for each Introducer Appointed Representative). We’ll cover this cost at application for our funeral director partners, whichever option they choose.

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