Silver Clouds and Thy Will Be Done’s Response to HM Treasury Announcement on Future Funeral Plan Regulation
As established and trusted funeral plan providers, thy Will Be done in association with Silver Clouds Later Life planning welcome the announcement by HM Treasury on 2 June 2019 to establish greater regulation of the funeral plan market through the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
We have already engaged with the FCA and our current processes and systems are deemed to be fully compliant. As a result, we anticipate that we shall be ahead of the curve in respect of complying with future regulation.
Current legislation pursuant to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities Order) 2001 clearly sets out Silver Clouds’ legal obligations as a trust based funeral plan provider to ensure that beneficiary funds are safeguarded and independently managed, audited and analysed by professional investment managers, accountants and actuaries. Both Silver Clouds and Thy Will Be Done fully comply with current legislation.
We await timelines and details of the regulatory framework that the FCA will implement.
Our current view is that as well as compliance with the FCA Principles and Handbook, it is probable that the FCA will set out guidance in respect of how funeral plans are sold with know your customer (KYC) and fact find requirements increasing in importance and advertising and product promotions being strictly regulated. Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) will be pivotal in all interactions with customers. The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) will be the redress scheme and customers will be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the event of provider failure. Further, the Senior Managers Regime (SMR) will require documented procedures and management accountability throughout.
We are fully prepared to invest in the necessary compliance tools and training for our staff and agents to ensure that regulation is embraced and our customers continue to receive the highest standards of conduct and care.
The demand for pre-paid funeral plans continues to grow as families seek insurance against rising funeral costs. We believe that regulation will be positive and will actually increase sales in pre-paid funeral plans as consumers and other advisers gain confidence in the product.