Thursday, 17 November 2022
We are delighted to announce that Co-op Funeralcare's new bethebrand system is live.
The Co-op is one of the world's largest consumer co-operatives with interests across food, funerals, insurance and legal services. Owned by millions of UK consumers, the Co-op operates 2,500 food stores, over 800 funeral homes and provides products to over 5,100 other stores. Co-op Funeralcare is the UK's leading funeral provider for funerals and pre-paid plans.
On 29 July 2022, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) began regulating pre-paid funeral plans following legislation passed by Parliament. The FCA has authorised 26 providers, who collectively hold approximately 1.6 million plans, making up 87% of the market.
Regulation has boosted consumer protection, with new rules in place relating to areas such as cold calling and a ban on commission payments to intermediaries. In addition, customers of authorised providers have access to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so their money is protected if their provider fails.
Co-op Funeralcare sought a digital asset management system to ensure it could evidence good consumer outcomes with absolute clarity and deliver first class insight with regard to its sophisticated compliance and financial promotion processes.
bethebrand has been working with other Co-op organisations for some time. This gave Co-op Funeralcare deep insight into the capabilities of the bethebrand system and an opportunity to engage with the team quickly for a rapid deployment.
With an absolute deadline for regulation, Co-op Funeralcare required the bethebrand team to hit the ground running over the summer to undertake system configuration and train the team in time for the new system, nicknamed BABS, to be 'business as usual' by 29th July.
bethebrand rose to the challenge, with the timeline from initial decision to 'go live', including full training for the team taking just ten weeks.
Co-op Funeralcare is already seeing tangible benefits in having a single asset store and a system driven approval process.
Regulation is constantly evolving and a solid system-based approach is of paramount importance in managing change. With preparations for the new Consumer Duty, being introduced by the FCA on 31 July 2023, in full swing across regulated financial services firms, Co-op Funeralcare's step change in digital asset management ensures it is ahead of the curve in preparing for such regulatory changes.