Who really owns your local funeral director?

24/01/2023   //   No Comments

You might be surprised to learn that the name above the door doesn’t always tell the full story.

For many years, investors, both domestic and overseas, have found bulk buying UK funeral directors to be extremely profitable. In recent times, venture capital companies have invested significant funds into local, online and remote funeral companies that you will see frequently promoting ‘low price’ funerals on TV.

In recent days, Dignity Plc, owner of over 725 funeral homes across the UK, has accepted a buyout offer from private venture capitalist investors. Many of Dignity’s funeral homes maintain the name of the original family owners above the door despite the fact that these businesses have been under Dignity’s control for decades.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) was so concerned about the issue of transparency of ownership that it took the unusual step of issuing a legal order that requires the name of the owner on the exterior, interior and on the website of every funeral service provider to be clearly displayed as part of a series of measures to help the consumer understand who they are actually engaging to care for their loved one.

The CMA went further following an investigation of the funeral market by requiring funeral directors to provide transparent pricing. The CMA was specifically concerned that some of the national funeral providers’ pricing was above the average pricing of independent funeral directors.

Family-owned funeral directors know that being the ultimate owner of a funeral business means the responsibility for the care of your loved one stops with them, not with a corporate office hundreds of miles away.

Getting every detail right falls on their shoulders and they take that responsibility seriously.

This is why SAIF members voluntarily submit to an independent inspection and adhere to a strict code of practice. They are required to meet the highest standards of funeral provision in the UK and each year provide information to verify that they are the owners of their business.

There is a common saying among the family owned funeral community, ‘we look after families as if they were our own’.

When it’s your name above the door you can be sure that this will be the case.

More information on the CMA Funeral Market Investigation Order 2021 can be found here.

To learn more about why you should only choose a SAIF member funeral director, click here.

Find a SAIF Member