SAFE HANDS PLANS LIMITED
(IN ADMINISTRATION)
(“THE COMPANY”)

Nedim Ailyan and Ben Stanyon were appointed as Joint Administrators of the Company on 23 March 2022. In accordance with Paragraph 46(3) of Schedule B1 of the Insolvency Act 1986 we are notifying you of our appointment.

The appointment of the Joint Administrators was made by the directors of the Company, after a period of severe financial challenge, which has left the business unsustainable in its current form. The Company has ceased to trade insofar as it will not be accepting any new customers but will be assisting current plan holders with contingency funeral planning services with the assistance of a third-party provider, in the circumstances set out below.

Interim Funeral Service Provision

The Joint Administrators are exploring possible solutions including the possibility of the rescue of the business with alternative funeral providers.

In the interim, Dignity Funerals Limited (“Dignity”) has agreed to work with the Joint Administrators to temporarily provide existing customers with funeral planning services for the foreseeable future, from the date of the administration.

Customer service team & frequently asked questions (“FAQ’s)

A dedicated UK based customer service team has been established by the Joint Administrators to assist you with any questions you may have in respect of the administration, the defined role of Dignity, the impact of the administration on your plan and any potential return of the money you have invested.

The customer services team is available to be contacted by freephone on 0800 640 9928.

However, in the first instance we would direct you to the schedule of FAQ’s below which may address your concerns without the need to contact the customer services team.

In the event your queries may not be answered by the FAQ’s and/or the customer service team, you will be referred to the Joint Administrators’ office directly where your enquiries will be dealt with in a timely manner.

Update Customer FAQs – following the issuance of the Administrators’ Proposals

Who should I contact if the FAQ doesn’t answer my question?

CONTACT DETAILS

Website: www.safehandsplans.co.uk

Administrators’ email: [email protected]

Administrators’ Freephone helpline (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm): 0800 640 9928

Please contact us using the contact details above if you have any questions that are not answered in this FAQ document. Updates will, however, be provided to plan holders on a periodic basis via the Company’s website www.safehandsplans.co.uk and in the Administrators’ future reports to creditors.

What are the Administrators’ Proposals?

The Administrators’ Proposals encapsulate a progress report on the administration and set out the objective of the administration and steps that will be taken by the Administrators to achieve the purpose of the administration.

Do I need to take any action following receipt of the Administrators’ Proposals?

No; once the Administrators’ Proposals are approved the Administrators will continue to execute the strategy of the administration.

What’s the current position with Dignity Funerals Limited (“Dignity”) and/or an alternative long term solution?

Dignity has agreed to work with the Administrators to temporarily provide existing customers with funeral planning services for the foreseeable future.

Whilst this arrangement is in place Dignity has also put an outline proposal to the Administrators whereby it would agree to fulfil all funerals of Plan Holders for a period of six months capping payable rates and disbursements below the market price of funerals.

The offer is currently being considered and explored by the Administrators and, in the event that it is considered to be in the best interests of Plan Holders, it will be subject to approval from the Court. During this period, Dignity has proposed to offer each existing Safe Hands customer a replacement funeral plan from Dignity.

The Administrators will write to Plan holders as soon as practicable with details of the Dignity proposal and/or any other proposal from a willing third party offering a similar arrangement.

My loved one has died and they had a funeral plan with Safe Hands Plans. Will the firm pay for the funeral and what can I do next?

The Company is not in a position to honour any funerals for its plan holders as a result of the Administration However, Dignity has agreed with the Joint Administrators that it will provide existing customers with funeral care arrangements for the foreseeable future, from the date of the administration. In this period the Joint Administrators will be exploring a potential longer-term solution.

What will happen to my funeral plan? Will I still get the funeral that I have paid for?

At present a short-term solution has been offered by Dignity, however, at present this is only a temporary measure to afford the Joint Administrators time to explore options for a potential longer-term solution.

All plan holders should, however, consider their funeral plan with the Company to have been terminated with immediate effect. This includes funeral plans that were part-paid and funeral plans that were being processed. No further direct debit or standing order instalments will be collected by the Company.

The cancellation of your plan will not prejudice your right to funeral care services agreed to be provided by Dignity or right to claim for losses suffered as a result of the administration.

What should I do about my funeral now?

Plan holders that are looking to activate an existing plan following this communication are encouraged to contact the customer services team on 0800 640 9928.

Will my funeral plan be transferred to another provider?

The Administrators are exploring the possibility of transferring funeral plans to an alternative provider and are hoping to achieve a solution on this front.  An update will be provided to customers in due course.

Should I cancel my standing order/direct debit to the Company?

Whilst steps have been taken by the Administrators to prevent further direct debits and standing orders being collected by the Company, plan holders are encouraged to cancel their direct debits/standing orders with the Company with immediate effect by contacting their bank.

Can I have a refund from the Company?

Unfortunately at this time, the Company does not have sufficient funds to enable refunds to be issued to all plan holders in full.

Steps are being explored by the Joint Administrators to find a potential future solution to fulfil all plan holder funeral plans.

What happens if Dignity or any other third party are unable to provide assistance?

At that point you will be asked to claim for your losses suffered by the Company ceasing to trade.

The Administrators will undertake an exercise to realise the assets of the Company, including the investments into which plan holders’ money was invested, to enable a partial repayment via a dividend process to be made to plan holders in due course. The Administrators would incur costs in making their investigations and realising these investments for the benefit of plan holders. Subject to Court approval and in accordance with insolvency law, these costs will be deducted from the investments.

Plan holders that have paid an element of their funeral plan instalments via a credit card may be entitled to register a claim with their credit card provider under s75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

How much money can I expect back?  When can I expect this?

The Administrators are unable to confirm any potential estimated return to plan holders at this time.

The Administrators estimate that the process of realising assets and issuing partial repayments to plan holders is a significant undertaking and would, therefore, take some time to complete.  To confirm, it is understood that the Company had approximately 46,000 plan holders at the point of entering Administration.

Updates will, however, be provided to customers on a periodic basis via the Company’s website www.safehandsplans.co.uk and in the Administrators’ future reports to creditors.

How can I make a claim?

The Joint Administrators will contact plan holders directly in due course should it be necessary for you to make a claim and will provide details of how to make a claim and what you can claim for.

What has happened to Safe Hands Plans?

The Company entered Administration on 23 March 2022, with Nedim Ailyan and Ben Stanyon of FRP Advisory Trading Limited (“FRP”) being appointed as Joint Administrators (“the Administrators”).

The Company entered financial difficulty due to a combination of factors, some of which are understood to be linked to the Covid-19 pandemic. The value of the Company’s assets is considered to be significantly lower than the Company’s liabilities which means that the Company is insolvent.

The Administrators will be conducting a detailed investigation into the failure of the business, including the reasons behind it and the conduct of the Company’s directors in due course.  Until this process has been completed, the Administrators are unable to comment further.

Will the Company be ceasing to trade?

As a result of the Administration appointment, the Company is ceasing to trade and will no longer be able to take on new customers but it will be assisting current plan holders with contingency funeral planning services, for an interim period, with the assistance of Dignity.

What has happened to my money?

Customer instalments appear to have been used by the Company to acquire investments, subject to deductions for the costs of administering the funeral plans. Investments are understood by the Administrators to comprise a combination of equities, bonds, cash, real estate and loans.

The legal structure of these investments appears to be complicated and needs to be investigated to understand which of these investments can be realised for the benefit of plan holders. The Administrators are in contact with those that hold and manage these investments. However, the Administrators’ investigations into this important issue are at an early stage.

I understood that all of my money was safe in a Trust.  Why is this not the case?

Unfortunately, there is a shortfall between the level of plan holder investments and the forecast level of funeral plan costs to be paid.  Essentially, the value of the investments is not enough to meet the funeral plan obligations of the Company.

The Administrators will conduct a thorough investigation into the shortfall as part of their duties.

Was the Company regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)?

The Company is not regulated by the FCA.

From 29 July 2022, the FCA will regulate funeral plan providers, following a change in the law. Ahead of that, the FCA is assessing applications from funeral plan providers for authorisation.  Further details can be found at the following link https://www.fca.org.uk/news/statements/statement-funeral-plan-provider-applications.

What should I do if I am contacted by someone claiming to be from Safe Hands Plans Limited / FRP Advisory / Dignity

If you are called by someone claiming to be from Safe Hands Plans, FRP Advisory or any other company claiming to be involved in the administration, please end the call and contact us using the contact details provided below. Please remain alert to the possibility of fraud.

Website: www.safehandsplans.co.uk

Administrators’ email: [email protected]

Administrators’ Freephone helpline (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm)0800 640 9928