Collapse of funeral plan firm Safe Hands leaves services in doubt

The company has hired administrators from FRP Advisory to oversee the insolvency process.

24 March 2022

Funeral plan provider Safe Hands has collapsed, placing the arrangements of more than 45,000 customers in doubt.

The Wakefield-based company had already signalled that it would halt operations but the fall into insolvency means pre-booked funerals may not be honoured.

The company has hired administrators from FRP Advisory to oversee the insolvency process.

Administrators have said the business is “unsustainable in its current form” after a “period of severe financial challenge”.

It added that current plans have been terminated and the company will no longer take any direct debit or standing order payments.

Nedim Ailyan, partner at FRP and joint administrator of Safe Hands, has said it has agreed a deal for listed funeral firm Dignity to provide existing customers with funeral planning services for a period of 14 days.

Safe Hands said it had been in discussion with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) before calling in administrators.

The FCA is due to oversee the unregulated funeral plan market in July as part of a major overhaul of the sector.

Mr Ailyan added: “As joint administrators, we have been appointed by the court and will undertake a detailed statutory investigation of the financial position of the business and the events leading to the insolvency.

“This will support our work as we progress towards realising the company’s assets to make returns to creditors.

“Regrettably, the administration means the company is not in a position to issue refunds at this time.

“We appreciate how upsetting this period of uncertainty will be for Safe Hands Plans’ customers and their families.”

Administrators said they will contact all plan holders and their personal representatives to outline for process for registering claims.

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