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Action group wants a new review

The Equitable Members&#39 Action Group has criticised Treasury Financial Secretary Ruth Kelly for saying the Penrose report does not blame regulators or recommend compensation.

It says the remit set for Lord Penrose precluded him from blaming the regulator or recommending compensation and believes Lord Penrose should be asked to complete a further study focusing on compensation.

Law firm Clarke Willmott, which has represented Equitable policyholders, is also unsatisfied. Financial services partner Robert Morfee says the regulator “shamelessly” encouraged investors to vote for the compromise scheme of 2002 while policyholders were told by the salesforce that the with-profits fund was blue-chip with better than average prospects.

Emag general secretary Paul Braithwaite says: “For six years, Gordon Brown and his coterie have fully understood the depth of problems at Equitable Life, yet they have used every trick in Sir Humphrey Appleby&#39s book to cover up and to avoid compensating for what is now proven to be regulatory failure.”

Morfee says: “The question is not whether the regulators owe compensation, but how much. The regulators failed to ensure there were reserves.”

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