Following confirmation it will take over regulation of the pre-paid funeral plans sector from July 2022, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is inviting applications for authorisation from providers and intermediaries. Applications should be made by all pre-paid plan providers and intermediaries that want to continue trading after 29th July 2022.
Funeral plan providers that wish to continue operating after the given date must apply for authorisation from the FCA to do so. Pre-paid funeral plan intermediaries have been advised that they can apply for authorisation or have the option of becoming appointed representatives.
Available from the start of September
The FCA has announced that applications for authorisation will be opening from the start of September this year and will be made through their Connect system. Until the FCA takes over in the summer of 2022, the pre-paid funeral industry will remain under the remit of the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA).
Providers that want to receive authorisation to continue trading are advised to do so as quickly as possible after the gateway opens in September. The process will involve the completion of the application and the submission of any documentation required by the FCA. The FCA will release more details about this in due course.
Some details about the authorisation process have already been revealed by the FCA, which gives providers more time to prepare themselves for their applications. In addition, there is also a draft application form that providers can now look at, along with details of what sort of evidence providers must submit as part of the application process.
Applications to be assessed on case-by-case basis
In its recent release, the FCA has confirmed that all applications for authorisation will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The FCA will then determine whether the provider will receive authorisation based on meeting the standards set by the authority.
If a company is not deemed to meet the standard, the FCA may request further information. However, if providers are considered not to be meeting the necessary standards, the FCA will not grant authorisation, and the provider will be unable to trade after 29th July 2022.
In addition, those that do apply for authorisation but have not received approval by this date will have to cease trading until their authorisation comes through.