Before we get to that, this extract from a speech by the Head of the Prudential Regulation Authority contrasts so strongly with the presscriptive approach of the FCA, it makes you wonder how two UK Regulators can have such totally different outlooks.

Woods went on to discuss the regulator’s new approach, asking: “Might we pursue the stability of the graveyard by imposing ever more stringent rules? Or might we go the other way, becoming captured by industry and not protecting policyholders enough? Put bluntly, can we be trusted with more power?”

He answered: “To address the point about the graveyard head on: I do not for one moment accept the caricature of a rampant regulator intent on crushing the industry under a slow-motion avalanche of new capital requirements, heedless of the wider consequences.

“Moreover, the PRA does not aspire to a zero failure regime – more than fifty insurers regulated by the PRA are currently in some form of run off, for example – and even our primary objective of safety and soundness is in some ways just a means to end. Policyholders are not well served by firms that are so safe and cautious that they might apparently be able to live forever, but never grow or change. Such firms are more likely to be broken by a storm than to bend with it.

“What we do have a very low appetite for is disorderly failure. I think our track record is good here so far, but there is more to be done. The UK does not yet have a resolution authority for insurers, as recommended in the FSB’s key attributes. Assessing firms’ preparedness for exiting the market in an orderly manner, and working with boards to make improvements where needed, will be an increasing focus of our supervision in the next few years.” (From Financial Reporter).


Service offers risk-free guidance for smarter funeral planning

Independent prepaid funeral experts Prepaid Funeral Review have outlined the possible cost to clients, families and mourners of losing out on independent funeral plan advice. Too many elderly people are so plans and part with money over the phone with only the salesman’s description of the product, so Regulation is needed – but sensible regulation.

Guidance in the prepaid funeral sector currently allows people to take independent help to make the right decision for their own circumstances, instead of a one-trick pony selling them a one-size-fits-all solution that ends up failing to match their needs. Prepaid Funeral Review offers tailored, independent advice with no charge – helping users to find out more about how to select their perfect funeral plan.

However, the founder of Prepaid Funeral Review is raising the alarm as increased pressure from the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) threatens to prevent the public from accessing the independent advice they need. Instead of sensible and monitored regulation, it seems the FCA plans to overhaul the very sector where customers most need guidance, slashing (already very limited) access to Independent advice.

“Regulation has succeeded in preventing the vast majority of people from accessing financial advice, never mind independent financial advice,” says Steve Pett, founder of Prepaid Funeral Review. “It would be a shame if families were left with large funeral bills for the same reason, and deprived of proper independent advice when simple regulation would have worked to their benefit.”

The Financial Conduct Authority’s standard approach is to decimate all channel of advice, whether tied or independent with the sales structure of the industry replaced with a fee-based approach which suits only the wealthy clients, who are not in desperate need of funeral plans. Steve fears that high-quality independent advisors will soon be driven out of their industry due to paying high fees to the FCA and then being penalised when tied agents sell poor products then leave the industry, leaving good advisers to pick up the bill – just the squeeze with has shrunk Independent Adviser numbers and stopped ordinary people getting any advice at all.

Yet with the right approach, regulation could prevent the exploitation of potentially vulnerable people without blocking routes to real, implementable information.

Steve proposes that to keep advice and prepaid funeral plans ethical, purchasers should be able to review a paper copy of any prospective funeral plan before buying. All sales should likewise be checked by an independent party, to ensure that the purchaser understands what they are buying and is not vulnerable.  The FCA should ensure that suitable information on plans, their security, and provide a risk assessment of each product to ensure innovative plans are still launched, accompanied by the appropriate warnings.

A former IFA with years of experience, Steve is dedicated to helping users of the site find the right advice for them. Find out more at the official website and download the free Guide to Funeral Plans now at


Press responses to be sent to:  07742 635746


1988 440,000 financial advisers of all sorts – Brittanic, Prudential etc etc.  Regulation came in.

2021 less than 27,000 financial advisers to serve a bigger population with more complex needs.  SOMETHING IS WRONG.

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