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Equitable rescue to cost members £30m

Equitable Life chairman Vanni Treves has admitted the society&#39s compromise scheme will end up costing its members more than £30m in legal, actuarial and marketing fees.

At a policyholders&#39 meeting last Friday, Treves said the scheme had already racked up bills of £15m and would eventually cost members more than double that amount.

He admitted the cost was “extremely high” but said he thought the £30 cost to each of the one million members affected by the scheme was acceptable.

But policyholders reacted with shock. Equitable Members Action Group&#39s Paul Braithwaite says the board wasted money on expensive roadshows and presentations.

The meeting was the last chance for policyholders to vote on the rescue scheme, which Treves hopes will be in force by mid-February. The outcome will be announced in two weeks, when Equitable lays out its plans.

The Bureaux director Ronnie Lymburn says: “It seems a hell of a lot of money to achieve this objective. It almost certainly could have been done cheaper and there is no guarantee it will be successful. Equitable is not out of the woods yet.”

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