The funeral plan business is to come under tighter regulation when the industry falls under the auspices of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – the body that regulates the 60,000 businesses in the UK offering financial services.
The FCA plans to have the new legislation in place next year before taking responsibility for regulation in the summer of 2022.
Under the new rules, all firms offering pre-paid funeral plans will have to be authorised by the FCA.
Michelle Kemp, Chief Operating Officer at Safe Hands, welcomed the news.
“We thoroughly support tougher regulation in our market as it will build consumer confidence, and protect customers from any failings, and root out the firms that have made statutory regulation necessary.”
Michelle added that Safe Hands was already providing stringent controls over how customer money was safeguarded through an independent trust which controls investment activity and ensures there is always money to pay out to plan holders.
Safe Hands is currently regulated by the Funeral Planning Association (FPA) which insists its member adhere to a strict code of practice to protect consumers. All registered providers have to follow strict rules and are regularly assessed to check if they are meeting the required standards.