The FCA has released its Policy Statement PS21/8: Regulation of funeral plans – Feedback to CP21/4 and final rules, setting out the majority of its final rules for firms wishing to operate in the prepaid funeral plan sector beyond 29th July 2022.
Consistent with its Consultation Paper (CP21/4), the FCA’s main aim remains to improve consumer outcomes, to provide better value products, better sales practices, and better controls. This means that consumers who have taken, or will take, a pre-paid funeral plan product can be confident that it meets their needs.
The final rules capture funeral plan contract providers (and firms who carry out these contracts) and intermediaries (including funeral directors and will writers) who advise or arrange funeral plan contracts for consumers.
Some key elements for firms to note are:
- Commission – the proposed rules banning commission payments remain and are being implemented as per CP21/4
- AR Regime and Approved Persons – the requirement for ARs to have individuals performing the Customer Function (CF30) approved by the FCA has been removed
- Annual statements – now amended to confirm statement provision every 3 years
- Instalment plans – the rules have been amended to allow instalment plans sold post-regulation a moratorium period of up to 24 months, during which period firms will not be required to deliver the funeral.
Firms not Directly Authorised, or which are not an Appointed Representative of an authorised firm (the Principal), will have to cease selling funeral plans before regulation begins on 29th July 2022. From this date it will be a criminal offence for plan providers to carry out funeral plan contracts, or to administer pre-existing plans, without authorisation.
Whether your route to authorisation is to apply to become Directly Authorised or if you are looking for a Principal firm to become an Appointed Representative one of our subject matter experts will be able to assist, please contact us on 01925 767888, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also find free support resources in our hosted group on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12525826/ or search for Pre-Paid Funeral Plan Regulation: application Support, Guidance and Compliance.