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Equitable Life vs Ernst & Young court case starts today

Equitable Life today begins court proceedings against its former auditor Ernst & Young and 15 of its own former directors, in one of the biggest lawsuits of its kind.

The UKs oldest mutual is suing E&Y for 2.05bn for negligence, reduced from 2.6bn when the courts reduced part of the claim last year.

The trial could cost over 100m, although E&Y says Equitable Life is wasting its time and money, because the case should never have been brought.

Equitable Life seeks damages for negligence, accusing E&Y and the directors from misadvising, failing to identify the risk of liabilities arising from its guaranteed annuity rates pension policies between 1997 and 1999.

E&Y chairman Nick Land says: We believe by taking this case Equitable is pouring policyholders money down the drain. Nothing that E&Y did caused Equitables problems. There is nothing we could have told them they did not already know. There was no black hole, no fraud and no money lost.


Advisers split as appeal deal is turned down

The FSA and the Financial Ombudsman Service have ruled out setting up an independent appeals tribunal to allow IFAs to challenge ombudsman decisions, which some advisers argue breaches their human rights.


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