Funeral plan provider enters administration after failing to obtain FCA authorisation
A Sheffield-based funeral plan provider has entered administration after failing to obtain FCA authorisation.
Andrew Watling and Kelly Mitchell of business advisory firm Quantuma have been appointed as joint administrators of One Life Funeral Planning Ltd (OLFP).
Incorporated in December 2020, Sheffield-based OLFP offered around 14,000 customers a variety of funeral and cremation plans on both a prepaid and payment by instalment basis.
Businesses operating in the pre-paid funeral plan sector became subject to FCA regulation on 29th July 2022 and OLFP were one of a number of providers who were unsuccessful in obtaining FCA approval.
The regulations allowed unsuccessful providers to continue to trade on a limited basis – fulfilling existing plans, but unable to sell new plans – until 31st October 2022, while efforts could be made re transfer plans to a new, authorised provider.
OLFP directors have been working with Quantuma advisers to enable them to comply with FCA requirements to wind down operations and seek to transfer their customers’ plans to an alternative authorised plan provider in an orderly manner.
Having been unsuccessful in transferring the plans before the 31st October deadline, OLFP has appointed administrators, which allows these efforts to continue for a limited time.
Despite the administration, the administrators will be able to continue to collect instalment payments and arrange funerals in the event that any customers die before a transfer can be completed.
OLFP operated a trust fund, into which customer payments were invested. All instalments paid after the date of administration will be ring-fenced and will be refunded in full to customers in the event that a transfer to an authorised funeral plan provider does not proceed.
OLFP is one of a number of providers in the sector to have entered a formal insolvency process as a result of their failure to obtain FCA regulation, and the second that Quantuma has been instructed over, following their appointment as liquidators of Not For Profit Funerals Limited, in September.
Andrew Watling, managing director at Quantuma, said: “We understand that One Life’s situation will be unsettling news for its 14,000 or so plan holders. We’re working closely with the FCA and the trustees of The One Life Trust to lessen the impact as far as possible and find the best solution for customers and will provide regular updates on our progress.
“In the meantime, we have set up a dedicated helpline 0808 178 3018 for general plan-related queries and have created a set of Frequently Asked Questions, which will be communicated to plan holders directly and are available through both OLFP’s and Quantuma’s websites.
“OLFP’s Bereavement Helpline is still active, which we would ask to be only used for the purpose for which it is intended in order to avoid any unnecessary delays in responding to such notifications, and adversely affecting the bereaved at that difficult time.”