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&#39Equitable backlog is costing investors thousands&#39

IFAs claim that Equitable Life could yet face more compensation claims

because its admin backlog is causing policyholders who want to transfer to

miss out on thousands of pounds.

IFAs say their clients are missing out on lucrative annuity rates because

of the admin delays at Equitable in completing transfers.

This is because an openmarket option transfer quotation from a rival

provider is usually only valid for two weeks but some clients are waiting

at least four weeks to get their money out of Equitable.

IFAs say customers could put in compensation claims, which could be taken

to the PIA ombudsman, to recover losses incurred by delays.

Advisers are also calling on the regulator to issue guidelines on transfer

times and set a deadline for when they must be completed.

The Bureau managing dir-ector Peter Quinton says: “Transfers are taking so

long that people are losing out on annuity rates. This will lead to

compensation claims. Some people are losing out on thousands of pounds.”

Dennehy Weller director Brian Dennehy says: “The regulator needs to agree

with the ombudsman guidelines on how long it takes to turn around an

annuity. Rather than going through a lengthy complaints process it would be

better to have a clear standard on what length of time is acceptable.”

An Equitable spokesman says: “We are processing transfers as fast as we

can. It is not a simple process and it is important to get it right.”

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