The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published its final report in its investigation into the funerals market.
The report confirms provisional conclusions and sets out detail on remedies to address the "serious concerns" it has about the clarity of funeral costs in the sector.
Plans for price caps on the costs of funerals have been ruled out by the CMA, saying that the coronavirus pandemic had prevented the option from being developed. One of the conclusions of the report is that it should consider a further investigation once conditions are more stable.
Orders for funeral directors and crematorium operators include:
- Disclose prices "in a manner that will help customers make more informed decisions"
- Provide information in advance of a customer committing to a purchase, including the price and key terms of business e.g. if a deposit is required
- Inform customers about any other business, financial or commercial interests - payments to incentivise hospitals, care homes or hospices to refer people to specific directors will be prohibited
Furthermore, the CMA has recommended that the government establish an inspection and registration regime for funeral director services.
Lindesay Mace, acting manager of QSA's funeral costs helpline Down to Earth, said:
"Unjustifiable price increases continue to have a devastating impact on the lives of thousands of bereaved families across the UK, who are unable to grieve properly because they can't afford a funeral.
"We’re pleased to see that some form of price transparency and standardised pricing is going to be enforced, and the recommendations for some form of regulation.
"However, we believe the outlined remedies are insufficient to make the overall change needed and truly address funeral poverty.
"We will continue to share evidence and insights with the CMA, and hope that a further market investigation is picked up when conditions are more stable."