Funeral Planning Authority Board Shaken Up

The Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) has announced today 23rd June 2017, significant constitutional changes, according to the Funeral Service Times. Instead of the board being controlled by the members, it will become independent. We suspect this will result in important changes to protect the public, which the old board did not move on. At the moment, our view is that FPA Regulation means absolutely nothing in terms of Consumer Protection. So maybe it is moving from a cosy members club to something which may form the basis for proper Regulation one day.

We are certainly pleased to see this move in the right direction, and we hope that the FPA will be encouraging the many providers who can see no point in joining to come on board.  But they are going to have to demonstrate that they truly intend to be independent and not stuck in the mud before the innovative newer providers will consider membership a benefit to them or the public.  But we hope they continue to move in the right direction.

Once again, the Funeral Service Times reports that the Funeral Planning Authority board members who were representatives of funeral plan providers have resigned and been replaced by two new independent directors.

The newly appointed Funeral Planning Authority board members are:

  • Shaun Astley – Stone.

Shaun spent 30 years operating at board and executive level in the insurance, and retail financial services sector. His previous roles include Global Managing Director of Thomas Cook Financial/Travel Services, Membership Director at BUPA, and Retail Banking Director at Alliance and Leicester Bank PLC. In addition to his general management roles, he has specialised in Risk and compliance in a number of NED roles, including Senior Independent Director of CPP Group PLC, and NED of the Professional Claims Management Association

  • Alison Beeston

During her long career in banking, life assurance, mortgages and property Alison has held a variety of senior roles responsible for people development and competence, customer service, compliance and risk. She holds advanced financial planning qualifications, a postgraduate degree in human resources and a variety of risk management and compliance qualifications. She worked for a number of years in the equity release market which has some similarities to the funeral planning market, was a founding member of the Advisory Board of the Society of Later Life Advisers and previously a Non-Executive for Hermitage Housing Association. She maintains a strong interest in matters affecting the older customer market

In addition, Deborah Cullen, who is current Chair of the Compliance Committee, will also join the Board. Deborah has been a barrister both in private practice and as in house counsel for over 25 years, She has built a broad international and domestic commercial practice including advising on non contentious matters, litigation and mediation. In her most recent roles she has been working with a number of financial services organisations in the fields of regulation, compliance and corporate governance. The FPA will also use an advisory Stakeholder Group to continue seeking input from the industry and other interested parties.