1 June 2018
Government responds to Fairer Finance call for funeral plan regulation
The government has today taken the first step towards introducing statutory regulation of the prepaid funeral plan market. The move comes in response to Fairer Finance's campaign for better protection for customers of prepaid funeral plans, launched last summer.
Commenting on the announcement, James Daley, managing director of Fairer Finance, said: "Fairer Finance uncovered serious failings in the funeral plan market last summer. High pressure sales tactics and a lack of care with client money has been leaving a vulnerable customer base at risk.
"The Treasury listened carefully to our concerns and are to be commended on taking swift action to address these failings.
"Today's announcement is only the start of the process, but it sends a clear message to those companies who are not acting responsibly that now is the time to clean up or exit the market.
"Funeral plans are an important and valuable product, and we hope regulation of this sector will give responsible companies the chance to thrive, and give consumers the necessary reassurances they need to buy in confidence.
"People who buy funeral plans are not around to measure delivery against their expectations, which is why it's so important there are clear rules around how companies must behave. And with most plans costing over £3,000 - it's important that customers can have total confidence that their money is safe."
Fairer Finance launched its campaign for funeral plan regulation last July, as it launched its first report into the sector "Is the prepaid funeral planning market working well for consumers?". The report was sponsored by Dignity, but Fairer Finance retained full editorial control.
In November 2017, Fairer Finance held a roundtable event with all key industry stakeholders, securing unanimous agreement on the need for statutory regulation of the sector.
In April 2018, Fairer Finance published its second report into the sector, exploring routes towards statutory regulation. The report was sponsored by Co-op Funeralcare, Dignity, Ecclesiastical and Golden Charter.