Undertaker undertakes 8-year director disqualification for failure to safeguard funeral funds
Andrew Mark Baker, a director of Baker & Brown Limited, which traded as Cotswold Funeral Services and Honeybourne Funeral Services, has been disqualified from acting as a director for 8 years for selling funeral plans without authority and for failing to safeguard these funds.
Mr Baker’s disqualification as of today 26 January follows an investigation by the Insolvency Service following the liquidation of Baker & Brown Limited.
Mr Baker (51) has given an undertaking to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skill, which prevents him from becoming directly or indirectly involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company for 8 years from 26 January.
The Investigation found that between February 2010 and January 2012 Mr Baker sold funeral plans to at least 4 elderly customers for at least £10,000 without authority to do so under current financial legislation.
The regulated sale of funeral plans should enable customers to pay for their funeral in advance with the assurance that their payment has been protected and is available when needed. Mr Baker failed to safeguard these funds and the four customers subsequently became creditors in the liquidation. It was also found that Mr Baker had failed to pay over charitable donations of at least £180.
Commenting on the disqualification, Robert Clarke, Head of Insolvency Investigations North, at the Insolvency Service, said:
When directors of a company do not comply with legislation that is designed to protect customers, and avoidable losses result, the Insolvency Service will fully investigate the circumstances and take action where appropriate.
In this case, a number of elderly customers have been left out of pocket thanks to Mr Baker’s disregard of protective legislation and it is appropriate that his disqualification is for a significant period of time.
Baker & Brown Ltd (CRO No. 06753063) was incorporated on 19 November 2008 and traded as Cotswold Funeral Services and Honebourne Funeral Services. The company traded from Well Lane, Stow on the Wod, Gloucestershire, GL54 1 DG, 34b High Street, Honeybourne, Worcestershire, WR11 4PQ and latterly at 31 Broad Marston Road, Pebworth, Stratford Upon Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 8XT.