Funeral Planning to be taken over by the FCA

It has been confirmed that the Financial Conduct Authority (“the FCA”) shall be taking on the responsibility for regulating the prepaid funeral planning sector from July 2022.

Currently, funeral planning is a service regulated by the Funeral Planning Authority (“the FPA”). However, the prepaid funeral planning sector will be undergoing a radical change on 29 July 2022.

After this date, all firms who wish to continue operating as a provider or intermediary for pre-paid funeral planning will need to be authorised by the FCA (or exempt as, for example, an Appointed Representative).

What will happen after 29 July 2022?
What does this mean for me?
Consumers
Firms

What will happen after 29 July 2022?
The FCA will become responsible for regulating providers of funeral planning services to consumers and intermediaries who advise customers on funeral plan contracts or arrange them for the customers.
Intermediaries usually encompasses funeral directors as well as Will writers.
After 29 July 2022, carrying out a funeral plan contract, including a pre-existing contract, will become a regulated activity, and providers and intermediaries must have the appropriate authorisation.

What does this mean for me?

Providers

By 29 July 2022, all funeral plan providers must be authorised by the FCA to continue undertaking funeral plan activities.

Firms

If you are a Will writer or funeral director and want to continue advising customers on prepaid funeral planning services or arranging their prepaid funeral plans, you must either become directly authorised by the FCA or become an appointed representative.

Consumers

With the changes next year, if you are seeking prepaid funeral planning services, it is now important to determine whether your selected Will writer or funeral director will be seeking authorisation by the FCA, come July 2022.

The takeaway

With plenty of time now to take action, it is important to check whether your chosen Will writer is indeed authorised or exempt as an Appointed Representative to undertake your funeral planning services.

For providers and intermediaries, if you are not authorised by the FCA by July 2022, you must take steps to either wind down your funeral planning operations and/or transfer your list of existing plans to another regulated provider.

 

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