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Corporation
BUSINESS PRODUCTS & SERVICES | Consulting & Outsourcing
simplybiz.co.uk

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Founded Year

2002

Stage

IPO | IPO

Date of IPO

4/20/2018

About SimplyBiz

SimplyBiz provides compliance and business support to more than 5,000 financial advisers throughout the UK.

SimplyBiz Headquarter Location

The John Smith's Stadium Stadium Way

Huddersfield, England, HD1 6PG,

United Kingdom

+44 1484 439100

Latest SimplyBiz News

Simplybiz: FCA regulation from the cradle to the grave

Nov 1, 2021

Getting to grips with the upcoming extension of FCA oversight to pre-paid funeral plans, and what this means for advisers 1st November 20212:00 pm The FCA has announced that from 29 July 2022 , it will start to regulate the pre-paid funeral plan sector. This new regulation extends to intermediary firms that distribute pre-paid funeral plans and, whilst it’s unknown how many advisers will continue to operate in this area following the changes, it’s always worth having a good understanding of new regulation and how it might affect your business and your clients. As I’m sure you know, a pre-paid funeral plan is where a customer makes a payment to a funeral plan provider, either as a lump sum or as part of an instalment plan, to secure the provision of a funeral at some point in the future. Firstly, and something which will be a key point of interest for advisers, the FCA will be banning commission on the sale of all types of pre-paid funeral plan contracts. A pre-paid funeral plan contract will be classified under the new regime as a ‘contractually based investment’. Whilst your firm may be authorised to advise on and arrange investments this will NOT extend to pre-paid funeral plans. Therefore, should you wish to advise on or arrange a pre-paid funeral plan after 29 July 2022, you will need to submit a variation of permission (VOP) to the FCA to include this new regulated activity. Any firm wishing to add this new regulated activity to their firm’s permissions must do so by submitting their VOP via FCA’s Connect system. It must be noted a VOP can take up to six months (sometimes even longer) to process before being approved and costs £500. This application process is now open. As a word of caution, referring or introducing a client to a funeral plan provider would constitute a regulated activity, whether or not this is done by way of a financial incentive. This will require the firm to apply for this new permission or for the individual(s) to be appointed by the funeral plan provider as an appointed representative. Before making the decision to apply for this permission or not, it will be important to understand how the FCA intends to regulate the funeral plan contract sector. Other than the banning of commission, other important considerations are;  Qualifications: There are no qualification requirements for advising on or arranging pre-paid funeral plan contracts, although FCA may seek to understand knowledge and experience of the market. Over 50s plans: This new regulation does  not apply to “Guaranteed Over 50s” insurance policies which are sometimes marketed as funeral plans. Guaranteed Over 50s insurance policies are already subject to FCA regulation as insurance contracts. Independence: You will be able to continue to describe your services as ‘independent’, even if you offer pre-paid funeral plans from only one provider. Likewise, choosing not to apply for this activity will not impact on your independent status. Conduct of Business: There will be a new Funeral Plan Conduct of Business Sourcebook (FPCOBS). These rules will cover how firms deal with their customers including marketing; providing clear information on services offered; providing clear information about the products offered; and ensuring products are consistent with the needs of the customer. PROD: This will be based on existing requirements that apply to the insurance sector and seek to ensure that firms have governance and oversight in place to ensure the distribution of fair value products which meet the needs of consumers. Training and Competence: Firms will need to ensure that employees that are undertaking regulated activities in relation to funeral plans have the necessary competence, and this will include a minimum of 15 hours of CPD per employee per year. Reporting: Firms will be required to report data to the FCA through RegData which will include information on financial data, complaints, and capital resources. Capital resources: A firm must hold a minimum of £10,000 as its capital resource requirement when applying for this new activity. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from the regulator on this as the July 2022 implementation date approaches additionally, compliance service providers like SimplyBiz, will be doing all we can to keep advisers up to date. Alexander McGregor is senior compliance policy manager at SimplyBiz  1st November 20212:00 pm

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