FPA talks contracts and COVID-19

Partnership Podcast

The Partnership Podcast is continuing to update Independents during the pandemic, with the latest remotely recorded episode featuring the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) in the midst of COVID-19.

FPA CEO Graeme McAusland joined Malcolm over the web to talk about how planning firms have been weathering the pandemic, how this year’s new rules and code of practice put families first, and what the future of funeral planning looks like.

The FPA receives quarterly information from all regulated plan providers, putting it in a prime position to examine how COVID-19 has impacted providers and families.

Speaking on the podcast, Graeme said financial resilience had been reassuring, “largely because most of the portfolios are pretty well diversified”.

On maintaining service throughout the pandemic, he added: “We were pretty impressed that firms have been able to keep their businesses going, get working from home, and [since] it all began to become very serious, we haven’t had a complaint about service and operations across any of the providers, which I think is very good.”

Graeme also explained the need for agreements to be put in place between providers and funeral directors under the FPA’s updated rules.

He said: “Plan providers will have to demonstrate that they have appropriate oversight of the funeral directors they work with. To do that without a contract is very difficult, and probably impossible.

“The way this market is going, the planning companies will be the regulated entities, they’re the people the regulators are going to come after if things go wrong, and therefore their motivation for putting in place requirements is driven by that.”

SAIFInsight will be hearing much more from the FPA in the next issue.

All episodes of the Partnership Podcast are available on goldencharter.buzzsprout.com or you can subscribe using any podcast app.

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