FCA lists 14 funeral plan providers that will not be licensed

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Only FCA-authorized funeral plan providers, or their designated representatives, will be allowed to sell new funeral plans, the regulator said.

He warned consumers not to buy new plans from these 14 companies. “If you already have a plan with one of these companies, you should contact them to find out what happens to your plan. Your options may include receiving a refund, or your plan may be transferred to another provider” , said CAF.

The FCA added that some companies that applied for authorization before March 1, 2022 can continue to administer existing plans until October 31, 2022, giving them more time to wind down their operations or find an approved provider for them. take charge of their funeral plans.

Last month, the regulator released a list of 24 funeral plan providers it intends to license, which included the largest funeral plan providers and encompassed around 87% of existing customer plans.

All market providers remain unregulated until July 29, when the regulations come into force. Once in effect, funeral plan holders will be able to refer complaints about a business to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and will be covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if their provider goes bankrupt.

If the issue occurred before July 2022, funeral plan holders will still be able to send it back to the FOS, as long as the company was registered with the Funeral Planning Authority at the time the issue occurred, it said. he declares.

The new rules include a ban on cold calling and commissions paid to intermediaries, as well as comprehensive checks on the fitness to operate of those who sell funeral plans, while setting new advertising standards to ensure that plans are sold fairly.

Additionally, the new rules ensure that funeral plans will always deliver a funeral unless the customer dies within two years of taking out the plan, in which case a full refund will be offered and customers will receive a full refund if they cancel a plan within 30 days of purchase, or pay only a reasonable fee later.

Last year the regulator announced its plan to better protect consumers in the funeral plan market after concerns were raised in the media and by consumer groups about the conduct and financial strength of some plan providers. prepaid funeral.

In early June, the FCA issued a warning against two funeral service providers, Empathy (Empathy Funeral Plans UK Limited) and Unique (Fox Milton & Co Limited, trading as Unique Funeral Plans), advising consumers not to buy business plans.

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