Current Affairs

Government launches two investigations into funeral sector

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the Treasury have separately announced that they will be investigating the funeral sector, examining pre-paid funeral plans and looking at whether information provided by funeral directors on prices and services were clear enough.

The Treasury has launched a Call for Evidence on regulation on pre-paid funeral plans, and will look at how the pre-paid funeral plan market currently operates, particularly with respect to the types of business models in the sector. It will also scrutinise the potential risk of consumer detriment under the current regulatory framework, and if present, where this risk is most severe.

The CMA will look at how prices have changed over time and the factors that affect them, taking in to account the fact that the average cost of a funeral was almost £3,800 in 2017 excluding extra costs.

The rising level of cremation fees will also be considered as part of the review, with cremations now estimated to account for around 75 percent of all funerals.

Daniel Gordon, senior director of markets at the CMA, said: “People can understandably be very emotionally vulnerable when planning a funeral. We therefore think it is important that – at what can be a particularly challenging time – the process is made as easy as possible.

“As part of this study, we want to ensure that people can at least receive clear information on prices and the services making up a funeral, and that people get a fair deal on the cremation fees charged.”

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