UK Financial Conduct Authority sets out rules for pre-paid funerals

(Alliance News) - The UK Financial Conduct Authority on Tuesday opened a consultation on draft ...

Alliance News 2 March, 2021 | 4:17PM
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(Alliance News) - The UK Financial Conduct Authority on Tuesday opened a consultation on draft rules for pre-paid funeral plans.

The consultation, which closes on April 13, follows legislation in January that brought the sale and administration of funeral plans within the financial regulator's remit. The FCA's proposals to "improve standards" in the sector are intended to ensure that "products meet the individual needs of consumers".

"We will ban the sale of products which do not provide for funeral services in almost all circumstances on the individual's death," the regulator said. The FCA rules also will aim to ensure products are priced and sold "fairly" and will outlaw cold-calling.

Businesses offering pre-paid funeral plans in the UK will need to be regulated by the FCA, applying for authorisation to operate from September onwards.

London-listed funeral services provider Dignity PLC issued no comment on the FCA announcement on Tuesday, though in the past has called for greater regulation of both the at-need and pre-paid funeral sectors.

The UK funeral sector has been under scrutiny of late. Back in December, the Competition & Markets Authority released its final decision report on funeral and crematoria services, which recommended measures to support greater customer choice and transparency.

Dignity shares were down 1.9% at 510.00 pence late Tuesday in London.

"Pre-paid funeral plans can help people and their families to manage the costs of a funeral," said Sheldon Mills, executive director of Consumers & Competition at the FCA. "It is vital that consumers have confidence that their plan will deliver the funeral they expect at a fair value."

By Eric Cunha; ericcunha@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2021 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
Rating
Dignity PLC 710.00 GBX -0.42 -

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