Regulatory impact: will your funeral plan provider continue trading after new rules go live? 

14/03/2022   //   No Comments

As we approach Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulation of prepaid funeral plans in the UK, more details are emerging about how the new rules are impacting upon the sector. 

One development in recent weeks relates to those funeral plan providers which have opted not to continue after regulation kicks in on 29th July 2022. Information about the application status of all plan providers can be found here

As seen in recent media reports, Safe Hands has withdrawn its application for FCA approval to operate and intends to transfer its plans to another business. 

Consumers should note that Safe Hands has no connection with the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF).

However, we are working closely with the FCA to secure good outcomes for customers with any planning companies that opt not to be regulated and will therefore cease to trade.

There are four funeral plan providers in membership of SAIF and these are Golden Charter, Open Prepaid Funeral Plans Ltd, Golden Leaves and Ecclesiastical Planning Services. All four have applied to be registered with the FCA from 29th July. 

Until FCA regulation starts, these businesses, along with Safe Hands, are bound by the voluntary Funeral Planning Authority (FPA)’s rules. 

A statement regarding Safe Hands on the FPA website says: “Safe Hands plans to continue to deliver funeral services up to the 29th July and is doing everything possible to ensure that customers’ funeral plans are honoured after this date under a new plan manager.”

SAIF advises consumers with concerns to communicate with their plan provider or the FPA, whose contact details can be found here.

Funeral directors should also liaise with any plan providers they work with to ensure training has been put in place to act as an appointed representative after 29th July. It is also prudent for funeral directors to ask plan providers whether they have been nominated to deliver against plans that have transferred from any defunct businesses.

SAIF continues to monitor the situation and will provide updates to members and consumers as new information becomes available.

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