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Equitable goes down to the wire over MVAs

Equitable Life is going to the wire over the imposition of exit penalties on policyholders, waiting until the 11th hour to respond to the Office of Fair Trading&#39s threats of legal action.

The OFT contacted Equitable on February 8, giving the company until March 1 to defend its policy of having absolute discretion in deciding what market value adjuster to impose on policyholders.

The OFT says Equitable&#39s 10 per cent penalty is fair but says it is not fair for Equitable to have absolute discretion in setting the penalty and is awaiting a response.

The news comes as policyholders have been told that there will be no reversionary bonuses added to policies in the near future.

Equitable spokesman Alistair Dunbar says: “We will be responding to the OFT before the deadline.”

Equitable says former Scot- tish Widows appointed actuary Charles Thomson is taking over from Chris Headdon as chief executive. Thomson is credited with salvaging Widows from its guaranteed annuities by clinching the deal with Lloyds TSB.

He joined Equitable as chief actuary in January after his surprise departure from Widows. Headdon will bec-ome chief executive of the newly integrated Halifax Equitable business.


Sarasin Investment Management – Global Thematic Isa

Tuesday, 27th February 2001.Type: Oeic mini or maxi Isa.Aim: Growth by investing in equisar (GB) fund, globalsar balance fund and webs@r (GB) fund.Minimum investment: Lump sum £3,000 monthly £250.Maximum investment: £7,000.Catmarked: No.Investment choice: Any proportion of equisar (GB) fund, globalsar balanced fund and webs@r (GB) fund.Charges: Initial 5 per cent, annual – equisar (GB) and […]

Give life offices more room to venture forth

The ABI has a shopping list it wants Chancellor Gordon Brown to deal with when he stands up to deliver his Budget. We hope to see the Chancellor announce a wide-ranging review of post-retirement income which would cover everything from annuities and drawdown to all other forms of pensioners&#39 savings. Everyone seems to agree there […]

A&L in deal to sell L&G products in branches

Alliance & Leicester is linking with Legal & General to allow the life office to sell its long-term savings and investment products through the bank&#39s 309 branches. The move aims to give A&L the flexibility to tie up with other providers if changes to the polarisation regime allow multi-tie arrangements in the future. The deal […]

Chase Fleming Asset Management cuts charges

Chase Fleming Asset Management is cutting the initial charge on lump sum investments into three of its funds.Lump sum investments of £5,000 or more into the Save & Prosper Premier Equity Growth Fund, the S&P European Growth Fund and the Fleming UK Dynamic Fund will receive a 2 per cent discount on the initial charge […]

Simon Fletcher

Auto-enrolment: pay attention or pay the price

By Simon Fletcher

As a chief executive officer of a business in the financial services sector, I have been dealing with the introduction of auto-enrolment for our clients for some time, but I can also speak from an employer’s point of view, having to go through the process ourselves.


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