On 28th February 2022, the FCA published Handbook Notice 96, which included an instrument to make changes to the application of FPCOB 8 (Identifying Client Needs & Advising). 

The rules in chapter 8 require firms selling funeral plans to:

• ask customers questions to identify both their demands and needs;

• conduct an assessment of those demands and needs;

• limit the products they propose to customers to only those products which they assess as being consistent with those demands and needs. If the firm has no products which are consistent with a customer’s needs, they cannot offer the consumer anything.

The FCA intended to apply these rules to all firms selling funeral plans (i.e. intermediaries and providers selling their own plans) but the final rules in PS21/8 limited their application to intermediaries only. The Funeral Plans (No 3) Instrument 2022 published in HBN96 amends the application of FPCOB 8 so that the rules also apply to funeral plan providers selling their own plans directly to customers.

This change is made without consultation and comes into force on 29 July 2022.