Pure Cremation, the direct cremation provider, has welcomed the news that pre-paid funeral sellers will be subject to tighter scrutiny under the UK financial watchdog.
It comes as prepaid funeral sellers become regulated as soon as parliament passes the law to place funeral plans under the jurisdiction of the Financial Conduct Authority. Firms then have a grace period to ensure compliance by Summer 2022.
Pure Cremation, which offers the service where the deceased is collected, cared for, and then cremated without a service or mourners present – praised the move as a “positive step towards restoring trust in the sector”.
Pure Cremation founder Catherine Powell said: “Pure already adheres to Financial Conduct Authority regulations and we welcome tighter scrutiny to protect customers at the point of sale and to ensure responsible management of the funds held by plan providers. Many buyers are vulnerable and should never be exposed to high-pressure harassment sales tactics.
“Certain bad-faith market players have tarnished the sector where many providers are committed to helping customers find an affordable and reliable way to provide for their funeral expenses.”
The FCA aims to ensure consumers receive what they have paid for and also plans to ensure customer funds are secure and used responsibly.
Powell added: “Pure Cremation has already ensured that our pre-paid plans are fully guaranteed with nothing more to pay for the service chosen – and our staff give advice, they do not engage in hard-sell tactics.
“Much of our feedback praises the lack of pressure and being given time to make their own decisions. This results in a very low cancellation rates, below 5%, which is unheard of in this sector.”
Pure Cremation has already secured authorisation to sell FCA-regulated products and has appointed compliance officer, Saba Munir, as well as Paul Thilo, the new MD of its Planning Ahead Services, in an effort to “set the highest standards of transparency”.