The National Association of Funeral Directors has welcomed publication of the Competition and Markets Authority’s interim report this morning, following its initial study of the funeral sector. As a building block to understanding how funeral firms of all shapes and sizes operate and how consumers want to arrange funerals, this report is an important first step. However, there are some conclusions made in this report which make it clear that the short six months the CMA has had to compile it has only allowed them to scratch the surface of the sector. The NAFD warmly welcomes the opportunity for further dialogue with the CMA, through the forthcoming consultation process, to help them get right to the heart of the funeral profession.

The NAFD’s members are united in their determination to arrange funerals which help bereaved families to come to terms with the loss of a loved one and, over the last few years, the vast majority have already taken important steps to make sure they are providing a greater range of choices, more easily accessible information and a wider range of funeral options. There is still much more to be done and the NAFD and its members are committed to learning as much from this opportunity to analyse the sector as possible, and to responding openly to the challenges laid at its door in this initial report.

Equally, as a report which is primarily concerned with pricing and competition considerations, the NAFD believes strongly that these findings should not be seen as any reflection on the high operational standards delivered by the NAFD’s members, nor the tireless work of thousands of compassionate and capable funeral directors and arrangers across the UK who, according to the CMA’s own consumer research, are highly valued for the way they support and care for bereaved people through one of life’s most traumatic events.