The FCA has issued a Decision Notice to One Life Funeral Planning Ltd (One Life) refusing the firm’s application for authorisation. One Life could not demonstrate that it was able to meet or comply with the FCA’s regulatory standards. The concerns included the firm having poor sales practices.
One Life has until 31 October to transfer its customers to another provider or provide refunds to its customers. They are able to carry out funerals for existing plans during this time but cannot sell new funeral plans. The FCA is urging consumers to not buy a funeral plan from this firm.
One Life should be contacting its existing plan holders. Existing plan holders may ask for their plan to be cancelled and request a refund, but there could be a cancellation fee so customers should check the terms and conditions of their contract. They can contact the firm on 0333 339 9399 or by emailing [email protected].
One Life has the right to refer the Decision to the Upper Tribunal.
The FCA will take over regulation of the pre-paid funeral plans market on 29 July. Until then, all of the providers in this market remain unregulated, meaning that customers do not have access to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), and the FCA has limited powers.
From 29 July, all authorised funeral plan providers will need to follow new FCA rules, which include a ban on cold calling and commission paid to intermediaries, and high standards on governance and financial resilience. Funeral plan holders of authorised providers will be able to refer complaints about a firm to the Financial Ombudsman Service and will be covered by the FSCS if their provider goes out of business.
The FCA has published a list of the firms it intends to authorise.