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Equitable policyholders make final bid to increase compensation

Equitable Life policyholders are making a final plea to the Government to fully compensate them for the losses they incurred.

Policyholders are estimated to have lost around £4.8bn following the collapse of Equitable Life.

However, a Government report by Sir John Chadwick, published in July, suggested policyholders should only receive around £400m-£500m in compensation.

Chadwick recommended that the compensation should be capped at policyholders’ absolute loss of what their investments could have been worth if Equitable had not collapsed, which the report estimated to be £2.3bn to £3bn.

Chadwick said policyholders should only then receive a percentage of this amount as some policyholders made a gain as a result of the maladministration of Equitable.

The Equitable Members Action Group says it is to lobby ministers again before a final decision is made next month on how much they will receive.

EMAG spokesman Paul Weir told the BBC: “The government should respect the parliamentary ombudsman’s recommendations. It should dispose of the work of Sir John Chadwick, which we think is disgraceful. And they should pay proper compensation, not peanuts.”

The Equitable Life board has also written to Treasury financial secretary Mark Hoban, calling on the Government to payout in full the losses incurred by policyholders.

Equitable Life chief executive Chris Wiscarson says: “Let’s not make Equitable policyholders victims three times over.  First, at the hands of the regulators as so clearly articulated by the Parliamentary Ombudsman; second, at the hands of the Labour Government who failed to bring closure over a decade; and now third, compensation that will be decimated if Sir John Chadwick’s advice, meant for the Labour Government and slated by the Ombudsman, is used.  

“The new Government could not have been clearer in its manifestos and its coalition agreement; it committed to follow the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s recommendation.  The persistent references to Sir John Chadwick’s work severely undermines our confidence that Government will deliver on its commitment.”


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  1. I was saddened at the Coalition Government’s announcement by Mark Hoban in the House of Commons on July 22nd. of their proposals for compensatiom to the victims of the the Equitable Life collapse, coming especially as it does after so bery many pledges, manifesto commitment to pay, the Coalition Agreement, the Queen’s Speech and the Prime Minister rounding on the Opposition at a Prime Minister’s Question, ALL PROMISING SWIFT, FAIR, TRANSPARENT, FREE OF GOVERNMENT INTEFERENCE, COMPENSATION RECOMMENDED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY OMBUDSMAN.

    This is after 10 years of the Labour Government doing all it could to deny any compensation, an administration under Gordon Brown as Chancellor who destroyed the British Pensions Industry when he abolished the tax relief on dividends received by pension funds in 1998.

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