FCA confirms list of regulated funeral plan providers

The regulation of the funeral plan market proposes to provide better safeguards for consumers, including a ban on cold calling and commission paid to intermediaries, and high standards on governance and financial resilience. Regulation will also provide a more formal redress scheme through the Financial Ombudsman Service and will be covered by the FSCS if their provider goes out of business.

Emily Shepperd, Executive Director of Authorisations at the FCA, said that regulation would better protect consumers:

“As this sector approaches regulation, we want to provide holders of pre-paid funeral plans with some reassurance, which is why we have published a list of the firms we intend to authorise.”

“Our regulation will lead to higher standards in the market and boost consumer protection. We want to see an improvement in the way customers are treated, with better value products, better sales practices and better controls in place so consumers can be confident they will receive the funeral they expect.”

The full list of approved providers is produced below

Alternative Planning Company LimitedAvalon (Europe) LimitedAvalon Trustee Company LimitedCelebration Of Life Planning LtdCentral England Co-Operative LimitedCo-Op Funeral Plans LimitedCrystal Cremations LtdDignity Funerals LimitedDistinct Funeral Plans LimitedEcclesiastical Planning Services LimitedF A Albin & Sons LimitedFamily Funerals Trust LimitedFreeman Brothers (this includes Peter Christopher Freeman and Bridgid Mary Freeman)Golden Charter LimitedGolden Leaves LimitedHaven Personal Funeral Plans LtdIndependent Funeral Planning Services LtdLow Cost Funeral Limited T/A Affordable Funerals (this includes Memoria Limited)Peace Burials LimitedPlan With Grace LimitedPure Cremation Planning LtdSouthern Co-Operative Funerals LimitedThe Independent Family Funeral Directors Ltd (this includes Fosters Family Funeral Directors)William Alty & Sons Limited

FCA names funeral plan providers who are NOT authorised

The Financial Conduct Authority has published a list of 14 funeral plan providers who will not be authorised to sell new funeral plans once the new regulatory changes take effect from 29th July 2022.

Reiterating the forthcoming changes, the FCA stated that “only funeral plan providers that we’ve authorised, or their Appointed Representatives (intermediaries who can distribute and sell their plans) may sell new funeral plans [as of 29th July]”.

Following this date, the FCA said that the 14 firms in question “will not be authorised to sell new funeral plans” and that consumers “should not buy a new plan from them”.

Reasons for not authorising a provider comes as a result of an inability to demonstrate compliance with the FCA’s regulatory standards, which may include things like poor sales practices.

The full list is as follows:

Bristol Memorial Woodlands FPCapital Life Funeral Planning LtdEmpathy UK Funeral Plans LtdEternal Peace Funeral Plans LtdFox Milton and Co Ltd, trading as Unique Funeral PlansIberian Funeral PlansMairi Urquhart & Son LtdMaplebrook Funeral Plans LimitedPride Planning LimitedRest Assured Funeral Plans LimitedSeasons Personal Funeral Plans limitedSilver Clouds Later life planning LimitedSJP Lichfield LimitedSovereign Lifecare

The FCA also noted:

“If you already have a plan with one of these firms, you should get in touch with them to find out what is happening to your plan. Your options might include receiving a refund, or your plan may be transferred to another provider.

Certain firms that applied for authorisation before 1st March 2022 can continue to administer existing plans until 31st October 2022. This is to give these firms more time to wind down their business or find an authorised provider to take on their funeral plans.”

On 17th June, the FCA published a provisional list of 24 providers that are proposed to be regulated. It said that the 24 providers make up c. 87% of the market.