Hucknall and Bulwell funeral directors welcomes new, rigorous regulation of pre-paid plans
As the funeral sector heads towards a major shift in how it is regulated, leading independent East Midlands funeral director AW Lymn is reassuring customers in Hucknall and Bulwell with pre-paid funeral plans that their funds are safe and secure.
From July 29, all funeral plan providers must be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in order for them to continue administering pre-paid funeral plans.
If providers fail to become authorised by this point they must stop administering funeral plans and have taken steps to transfer any existing plans to a regulated provider or refund customers accordingly.
Similarly, all intermediaries must become authorised or an appointed representative of an authorised firm to continue offering pre-paid funeral plans past July 29.
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FCA regulation will give consumers greater protection and confidence when purchasing pre-paid funeral plans.
However, some customers have been left out of pocket due to cancelled funeral plans because plan providers are either not applying for authorised status or withdrawing applications.
As the deadline approaches, AW Lymn has witnessed an influx of enquiries from concerned pre-paid funeral plan holders.
Catherine Broome, who has been the pre-paid funeral plans manager at AW Lymn for more than 25 years, said: “We are currently having to reassure a number of our customers when it comes to the security of their pre-payment plans.
“At AW Lymn, we are proud to have been working with what we believe to be one of the most robust and trusted of plan providers, Ecclesiastical Planning Services, since 2003.
We are confident that by July 29, Ecclesiastical will be authorised by the FCA.
"We fully support the move to make the industry regulated
"Unsurprisingly, this has caused some complications for those in the funeral industry.
"However, despite the hurdles, it will certainly be worth it in the long run.
“We hope that when regulation is in place, more people feel confident to buy a pre-arranged plan.
The company is currently participating in a thorough due diligence and training process as part of its application to become an appointed representative of Ecclesiastical Planning Services.
Catherine continued: “While the funeral industry enters a new chapter, we will continue supporting and informing our customers each step of the way and look forward to playing our part in a regulated industry moving forward.”