Funerals

The CMA is carrying out a market investigation into the supply of services by funeral directors at the point of need and the supply of crematoria services.

Contact

funerals@cma.gov.uk

Personal information

We would like to remind you that the CMA may collect, use and share personal data for its investigations, including market investigations. The CMA expects that it will obtain some personal information as part of its funeral directors and crematoria services market investigation.

Some personal data will be collected from you, while sometimes personal data will be collected from third parties, such as traders, stakeholders (for example, trade associations), research agencies, consumer associations, non-profit organisations and other government departments or public bodies.

For more information about how the CMA handles personal information, please see the CMA’s Personal Information Charter.

Remedies implementation

The CMA’s final report stated that a remedies package will be introduced by a legal Order and that it would consult on this Order during an implementation period of up to six months. See below for the full timetable for this period.

Timetable

Statutory deadline for implementing remedial action: 17.6.21

Government responses to the findings

Formal consultation on draft funerals order

Phase 2

Timetable

Date of reference: 28.3.19

Statutory deadline: 27.3.21

Final report

The CMA has published the final report of its market investigation into funeral services, confirming its remedies for the sector.

Responses to the provisional decision report

Provisional decision report

NatCen rapid evidence assessment

Summary of meeting

Final submissions received before the publication of the Provisional Decision report

Working paper responses

Responses to working papers published February 2020

Responses to working papers published January 2020

Revised administrative timetable

28 May 2020: The updated administrative timetable which is published today is intended to give parties as much time as is practicable to engage with the CMA following the publication of the Provisional Decision report and before the statutory deadline for this market investigation.

Any further submissions or key points in relation to the investigation which parties wish to make before the Provisional Decision report must be made by 19 June 2020.

However, the CMA is taking into account the impact of the pandemic on the provision of funeral services and the ongoing pressures on the sector. Therefore, we emphasise that parties will have an opportunity to make further submissions after the Provisional Decision report is published.

Extension of market investigation

16 March 2020: The CMA has today decided to extend the statutory deadline for the funerals market investigation by the maximum permitted 6 months.

Research papers

30 January 2020: The CMA has today published quantitative research with consumers conducted by Ipsos MORI, and the results of mystery shopping of funeral directors conducted by Ipsos MORI.

Working papers

28 May 2020: The deadline for responding to the CMA’s working papers, which were initially published on 20 February 2020, will be 12 June 2020.

Parties will have an opportunity to make further submissions after the Provisional Decision report is published, in addition to submitting responses or making key points to these working papers.

25 March 2020: In the light of the evolving situation regarding COVID-19, we have decided to suspend the deadline for responding to the working papers published on 20 February until further notice. Although we continue to welcome submissions to our investigation, we do not currently intend to publish any additional documents, or to update the inquiry timetable, until the situation has become clearer.

18 March 2020: The CMA has revised its deadline for comments on the Working Papers it published on 20 February. Parties wishing to comment should send their comments by email to funerals@cma.gov.uk by 15 April 2020.

20 February 2020: The CMA has today published further working papers. Parties wishing to comment on the papers should send their comments by email to funerals@cma.gov.uk by 19 March 2020.

30 January 2020: The CMA has today published a number of working papers. Parties wishing to comment on the papers should send their comments by email to funerals@cma.gov.uk by 27 February 2020.

Submissions

20 February 2020: The CMA has today published two documents submitted to the CMA by the Co-operative Group Limited, in relation to potential remedies.

Interviews with independent funeral directors

30 January 2020: The CMA has today published a summary of interviews with independent funeral directors.

Approach to valuation of crematoria land

5 December 2019: The CMA has published a document for comment in relation to valuing one specific asset used in the provision of crematoria services: the land on which the crematoria are sited. The deadline for views and comments on the paper is 18 December 2019.

Hearing and roundtable summaries

Working paper

Responses to the issues statement

Invitation to comment on research agencies

21 May 2019: As part of its investigation into the funerals sector, the CMA intends to carry out a consumer survey. We have identified a number of firms to undertake this research and comments are invited on potential conflicts of interest or any other restriction on the firms’ suitability to carry out the work.

Draft consumer survey

21 May 2019: The CMA has published documents for comment in relation to a consumer survey. The deadline for comments on the draft questionnaire below is 5pm on Tuesday 28 May 2019.

Issues statement

08 April 2019: The issues statement outlines initial theories on what might be affecting competition and potential remedies. It doesn’t set out our findings or conclusions. Parties are invited to provide submissions commenting on the issues and possible remedies.

Approach to information gathering

28 March 2019: The investigation involves a large number of potentially interested parties and third parties, many of whom have relevant information. The CMA has set out an overview of its approach.

Inquiry group appointed

28 March 2019: The CMA appointed the inquiry group on 28 March 2019.

Martin Coleman (Inquiry Chair), Richard Feasey, Sheila McClelland and Karthik Subramanya.

CMA Board advisory steer

28 March 2019: The CMA Board’s advisory steer to the inquiry group can be found below.

Terms of reference

28 March 2019: The terms of reference for the CMA’s investigation can be found below.

Case opened

28 March 2019: The CMA has decided to refer the supply of services by funeral directors at the point of need and the supply of crematoria services for a single in-depth Phase 2 market investigation.

Phase 1

Final report and decision on a market investigation reference

28 March 2019: The CMA has published the final report of its funerals market study.

Funerals advice

28 March 2019: In conjunction with Age UK and the Money Advice Service, the CMA has produced advice for those who need to arrange a funeral.

Consultation on scope of proposed market investigation

The CMA has received representations that the scope of its proposed market investigation reference should be extended to include the funeral services supplied by funeral directors in the United Kingdom arising from the redemption of pre-paid funeral plans.

The CMA is therefore inviting interested parties to provide views on whether, if the CMA decides to make a market investigation reference, the scope of the market investigation should include the delivery of such services. Comments should be provided by 5pm 13 March 2019.

Responses to Interim Report

Interim report, consultation and notice of proposal to make a market investigation reference

29 November 2018: The CMA published its interim report and consultation on the funerals market. As part of its interim report, the CMA has proposed that the funerals market should be referred to a CMA Group for a market investigation reference.

We welcome comments on the consultation on whether to make a market investigation reference. Comments should be provided by 5pm on 4 January 2019.

Personal information

We would like to remind you that the CMA may collect, use and share personal data for its investigations, including market studies. The CMA expects that it will obtain some personal information as part of the funerals market study.

Some personal data will be collected from you, while sometimes personal data will be collected from third parties, such as traders, stakeholders (for example, trade associations), research agencies, consumer associations, non-profit organisations and other government departments or public bodies.

For more information about how the CMA handles personal information, please see the CMA’s Personal Information Charter.

Consumer research

16 October 2018: The CMA commissioned research from Reseach Works and Ipsos MORI to understand the behaviour, experiences and decision-making of people who had recently engaged the services of a funeral director.

Responses to statement of scope

Launch of market study

1 June 2018: The CMA has launched a market study into the funerals market in the UK. We are investigating two core areas in connection with the supply of funerals:

  • how competition between funeral directors works and transparency issues in the provision of funerals
  • how competition works in the crematoria segment of the industry

We are inviting comments on the issues raised in the statement of scope, including from interested parties such as funeral directors, crematoria operators, representative professional bodies, government and from consumer groups.

Published 1 June 2018
Last updated 7 June 2021 + show all updates
  1. Government responses to the findings published.

  2. Annex to Qualitative Research Report published

  3. Remedies Implementation timetable published.

  4. Final report published.

  5. Summaries of hearings with parties published.

  6. Aggregated summary of responses to the provisional decision report from other parties added to the page.

  7. Responses to the provisional decision report published.

  8. Aggregated summary of responses to the working papers from other parties added to the page.

  9. Appendices to the provisional decision report published.

  10. Provisional decision report and associated documents published.

  11. Working paper responses, and Final submissions received before the publication of the Provisional Decision report published.

  12. Administrative timetable updated to reflect the new statutory deadline following a decision to extend by the maximum permitted 6 months. The new statutory deadline is 27 March 2021.

  13. An update has been added to the page regarding suspension of the deadline for responding to working papers published on 20 February.

  14. The updated deadline for comments on the published working papers (now 15 April 2020) has been added to the page.

  15. The CMA has decided to extend the statutory deadline for the funerals market investigation by 6 months. The notice of extension has been published on the case page.

  16. Additional working paper published.

  17. Further working papers, submissions by Co-operative Group Limited, and an additional hearing summary published.

  18. Research and working papers published.

  19. Approach to valuation of crematoria land published.

  20. Hearing and roundtable summaries published.

  21. Administrative timetable updated.

  22. Working paper on our approach to profitability and financial analysis published.

  23. Responses to the issues statement published.

  24. Draft consumer survey and invitation to comment on the agencies invited to tender published.

  25. The page has been updated with the issues statement, summary of the issues statement and administrative timetable for the investigation.

  26. Case page updated with: - the phase 1 final report of our market study - terms of reference for our phase 2 market investigation - inquiry group appointed to the market investigation - CMA Board's advisory steer to the inquiry group - advice for those who need to arrange a funeral

  27. Consultation on scope of proposed market investigation published.

  28. Responses to the interim report have been published.

  29. Interim report, consultation and notice of proposal to make a market investigation reference published.

  30. Consumer research published.

  31. Additional responses to statement of scope published.

  32. Responses to statement of scope published.

  33. Responses to statement of scope published.

  34. Personal data update announced.

  35. First published.