Information Bulletin No.2
THE FINANCIAL SERVICES & MARKETS ACT 2000 (REGULATED ACTIVITIES) ORDER 2001 GUIDANCE ON FITNESS AND PROPRIETY
A bulletin to provide information about the matters it is recommended that plan providers should consider, and the Funeral Planning Authority will consider when deciding whether the applicant, plan providers or trustees are fit and proper persons to fulfil the role that is proposed.
This bulletin represents the view of the Funeral Planning Authority at 28 September 2001 and may be updated at appropriate intervals.
Further information about the Funeral Planning Authority can be obtained from the Chief Executive at:
Funeral Planning Authority Limited
Telephone: 0845 601 9619
THE FINANCIAL SEVICES & MARKETS ACT 2000 (REGULATED ACTIVITIES) ORDER 2001 GUIDANCE ON FITNESS AND PROPRIETY
It is common practice when registering organisations that will provide a financial service or receive money from customers, to endeavour to ensure that the persons involved are "fit and proper". The Rules of Funeral Planning Authority (the Authority) will refer to applicants, plan providers and trustees as being "fit and proper" persons. In view of this, it is appropriate to publish this Information Bulletin setting out the criteria that will be considered by the Authority's Board and its Compliance Committee when considering applications for registration and re-registration.
The criteria is as follows:
- 1. This Guidance sets out factors on fitness and propriety which may raise issues for consideration by the Funeral Planning Authority in connection with initial registration or annual re-registration. It is an obligation on applicants, registered providers and trustees that they are "fit and proper". This requirement contributes to the achievement of the objective of the Authority to protect customer's payments in advance and ensure the delivery of the agreed funeral.
- 2. The primary obligation is on applicants and registered providers to consider this matter and to inform the Authority of any matter which might cast doubt on the fitness of either the applicant, registered provider or the trustees. An appropriate question will be included in the application procedure. This question will be of a general nature and will give the applicant the opportunity to provide any relevant information. It is for applicants and registered providers to decide what information should be made available to the Authority. This Guidance is descriptive and is not exhaustive.
A. When considering fitness and propriety the Authority may take into account any matters it sees fit, including but not limited to the following:
- the activities of the person concerned;
- any matter relating to any individual who is or will be an employee, agent or representative of that person;
- if the person is a body corporate, any matter which relates to any director of that body corporate;
- if the applicant is a partnership, any matter which relates to any of the partners; and
- if the applicant is an unincorporated association, any matter relating to a member of the governing body or any officer of the association.
B. The Authority must be satisfied that an applicant, registered provider or trustee meets high standards of integrity in all respects and is financially sound. Failure to satisfy the Authority in relation to any of these criteria will result in refusal of an application for registration or proceedings to terminate registration.
C. In determining whether an applicant, registered provider or trustee has satisfied the Authority as to its integrity the Authority may have regard to matters affecting the propriety of its conduct, whether or not such conduct may have resulted in the commission of an offence or the institution of legal or disciplinary proceedings of any nature. In considering issues affecting integrity the Authority may have regard to any factors including but not limited to:-
- any convicted offence involving fraud or other dishonesty or violence;
- whether the applicant, trustee or registered provider has ever been the subject of disciplinary proceedings by a self-regulatory, trade or professional body, the Department of Trade and Industry or any other government body or agency;
- the refusal or restriction of the right to carry on a trade, business or profession requiring a licence, registration or other authority;
- an adverse finding in a civil action by any court of competent jurisdiction of fraud, misfeasance or other misconduct
- an order of disqualification as a director or to act in the management or conduct of the affairs of corporation by a court of competent jurisdiction;
- whether an applicant, trustee or registered provider has been a director, partner or concerned in the management of a company or partnership which has gone into insolvent liquidation, or has been declared bankrupt or entered into an insolvent voluntary arrangement;
- whether an applicant, trustee or registered provider has been censured, disciplined or publicly criticised by or made the subject of a court order at the instigation of any regulatory authority or any officially appointed inquiry;
- whether the applicant, trustee or registered provider has been candid and truthful in all its dealings with the Authority;.
Funeral Planning Authority . September 2001