Australia – After a series of high profile abuses of the financial services industry in Australia in the last couple of years, the Australian government commissioned High Court Justice and royal commissioner Kenneth Hayne to investigate the complete financial services industry and come up with some ideas on how to regulate such.
That report has now been issued and Justice Hayne has issued what this news report calls a “damning final report” on the industries that touch almost every Australian. Hayne issued a report with 76 recommendations which challenge key aspects of banking, annuities, financial advice, and rural lending. He also referred some of the nation’s biggest company names to regulators for possible criminal or civil action for the way they treated their customers. You can see coverage of the report here.
Funeral service was no exception to the report as its pre-need financial tools came under the watchdog’s eye. Specifically, funeral insurance would now be defined as a financial product which would bring it under the Insurance Commission. Secondly, and what was a big complaint among consumers with funeral pre-need policies, is that “hawking” or the cold call selling of the the product would be curtailed. As a matter of fact, all financial products would be under the so-called “anti-hawking” command.
Spain – In an article that you can read here, at least 16 people have been arrested for what investigators suggest is scheme to remove bodies from expensive caskets and place them in less expensive caskets prior to cremation without the deceased family’s knowledge or permission. The article states that the investigation centers on a Vallidolid (a city in NW Spain) funeral home and is being conducted by the Spanish Tax Agency in conjuctiontion with local police.
According to the article a company, Grupo El Salvador, with at least eight funeral locations is the company under suspicion. Again, according to the article, the company touts itself as a family company that has been handed down from generation to generation and as a leader in funeral service in the Castillo y Leon region of Spain.
The company has issued a statement that says the charges are from a disgruntled former employee.