FCA regulation confirmed

The Government has announced plans to introduce statutory regulation to the pre-paid funeral plan market; the culmination of an enquiry by HM Treasury.

The announcement confirmed that pre-paid funeral plans will be directly regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and described the future direction of regulation. While it does not provide full information on the new system, it describes in some detail the close parallels to be drawn with other FCA-regulated markets, such as the insurance sector.

SAIF welcomed the news and said: “We hold the view that regulation – in a form which is easily understandable and set in the right framework – is a positive move.

“Consumers are right to expect to be sold plans which they do not feel pressured into buying, a situation which is ultimately not good for people buying the plans or, indeed, the funeral directors who will be servicing them.”

A formal consultation on the plans is available online. SAIF and Golden Charter will be engaging with the Treasury’s policy proposal, and recommend that members read the consultation, to which funeral directors are invited to respond.

Golden Charter also welcomed the move, and added: “This is an established model and one we at Golden Charter have been planning for since 2017. While the transition to FCA regulation will present some challenges, Independents will continue to offer the ideal route for customers to make provision for their funeral, with a Golden Charter funeral plan purchased direct from the funeral director who will carry out the plan.

“You have the required expertise to fully explain the options available to your families, ensuring they choose the plan that’s right for their individual needs.”

The consultation is available here.

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