The Financial Services Board (FSB) is investigating 13 businesses selling funeral policies. It says you should be extra-cautious when buying a funeral policy – from any provider.

The entities under investigation are: Matome Molefe Funeral Service of Mamelodi East, Gauteng; Eyodidi Funeral Undertakers of Khayelitsha, Western Cape; Baxolise Funerals of Mdantsane, Eastern Cape; Zelda’s Wreaths and Coffins of Victoria West, Northern Cape; City Funerals of Nancefield, Gauteng; Devine Casia of Johannesburg, Gauteng; Ndikhokhele Yehova Funeral Service of Richmond, Northern Cape; Infinitum Funeral Assist of Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal; Tswelopele Funerals of Koffiefontein, Free State; Itshereletso Funerals of Bluegum Bosch, Free State; Nom and Macc Funeral Services of Mafikeng, North West; Botlhe Funeral Undertakers of Zeerust, North West; and M&P Funeral Services of Hammanskraal, Gauteng.

The FSB says these businesses were asked to provide proof that their funeral policies are underwritten by a registered long-term insurance company, and were given 10 days to respond. They have either failed to respond or have failed to confirm that their policies are underwritten, as required by law.

The FSB investigates and takes action against entities that sell non-underwritten funeral policies. Such conduct breaches the Long Term Insurance Act and amounts to running an unregistered insurance business.

OFFSHORE OPERATORS

The FSB warns you against using Financika, an offshore online foreign-exchange trading platform that also provides advisory services, and Q International, also trading as Q Asia Pacific. Neither of these operators is an authorised financial services provider, as required by the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act.

The FSB says it has been informed that the American shares that Q International offers to prospective clients may be worthless or non-existent. You are again reminded to check beforehand with the FSB, on either the toll-free number (0800 110 443) or the website, www.fsb.co.za, whether the entity with which you intend doing financial services business is authorised to render such services.