The Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) has published its responses from professionals in the funeral trade, as part of its inquiry into the market.
In June last year, the CMA announced it would be looking into how the price of a funeral has changed over the years to examine if customers are getting a good deal. The Treasury launched a call to evidence for regulation into the pre-paid funeral market.
National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF), Quaker Social Action, Beyond and Ian Hazel Funerals were among the businesses and associations which submitted evidence to the CMA.
In a statement to Funeral Service Times, SAIF said the regulator’s research of 18 independent funeral directors was not a “representative sample” and said it hoped the CMA would address this.
Terry Tennens, chief Executive of SAIF, said: “The CMA’s interim report was a wake-up call for the funeral profession and we’ve given a full response, which takes into account views from across the UK. There is much in the report with which we agree, such as the need for a review of funeral service pricing and price standardisation, in addition to the acknowledgment of high satisfaction levels of clients of independent funeral directors.
“However, we have raised a series of concerns with the CMA about the risk of a one-size-fits-all remedy being applied to the profession, which could threaten the existence of many small, hard-working firms.”
He added: “Also, the Scottish Inspector of Funeral Directors, Natalie McKail, has acknowledged the cost of quality is a reality for full funeral services. Furthermore, the research of 18 independent funeral directors is not a representative sample for a credible assessment and we hope the CMA will address this. We fear that draconian measures will have an adverse impact on bereaved people by limiting choice and the dynamism offered by many independent firms.”