Funeral planning companies will already be aware of the need to identify and treat vulnerable customers fairly.

In July 2019 the FCA published a consultation document on the treatment of vulnerable customers within the regulated sector.

Whilst a prescriptive approach has not yet been established the regulator clearly defines its desires for firms to manage acceptable outcomes with regards the treatment of vulnerable customers.

So, what is a vulnerable customer in the eyes of the regulator?  The FCA defines a vulnerable customer as someone who, due to their personal circumstances, is especially susceptible to detriment, particularly when a firm is not acting with appropriate levels of care.

As the UK emerges from the Coronavirus pandemic there will be many consumers whose circumstances have significantly altered, this might occur right across the entire population.

The funeral planning sector can be susceptible to accusations of malpractice at the best of times, safeguards need to be deployed to ensure that plan holders are not entering into arrangements when they might be in a vulnerable position.

Adopting transparent policies, processes and training can help mitigate such circumstances. Such systems will aid with demonstrating appropriate outcomes to the regulator.

We recommend BS18477: 2010 – Inclusive service provision. Requirements for identifying & responding to consumer vulnerability. Our lead consultant performs benchmark audits to the best in class Standard adding in themes sought by the regulator. 

For those funeral planning companies that seek a real differentiator BS18477 can be assessed by BSI the leading certification body. Thus, providing you with the ultimate seal of approval.

For further information and to book your vulnerability survey please contact: Mo Arshad LLB LLM at Thamer James Ltd. Email: [email protected]

Mo has a specialism in FCA regulation and has worked with a broad range of financial services organisations including the funeral planning sector.  He has provided advice across the regulatory spectrum including the implementation of the Senior Managers and Certification regime, General Data Protection Regulation as well as guiding firms through the FCA regulatory approval process and associated notifications.

Mo holds a Law Degree, a Master’s in Law as well as the respected Diploma in Governance, Risk and Compliance from the International Compliance Association.