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Equitable wins vote but the legal battle goes on

Beleaguered Equitable Life has got a much-needed boost after

policyholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of its compromise deal

aimed at stabilising the society.

Exceeding most expectations, the deal got the backing of 97.3 per

cent of guaranteed annuity policyholders, with 98.6 and 99 per cent

of the two non-GAR policyholder categories. The High Court has to

approve its implementation.

But despite chairman Vanni Treves describing the news as “an

important milestone in the society&#39s journey to stability”, IFAs

believe the problems are far from over and expect thousands of

policyholders to desert if the deal is implemented.

Some IFAs say the deal could wipe hundreds of millions of pounds from

the value of Equitable&#39s with-profits fund.

It seems likely to face a raft of legal challenges as policyholders

who left the society before the vote sue for misselling. Current

members would be unable to pursue further legal action after the vote.

IFA Whitechurch Securities chairman Kean Seager believes

policyholders who joined Equitable over the past two years but have

left have an excellent chance of success. He says: “I am pleased the

scheme has been voted for but it is not plain sailing from now on.

Everybody who took out a policy over the past two years has a very

good case. It should be remembered those members who stay with

Equitable will suffer because the compensation would come out of

their profits.”


Equitable policyholders vote yes

Equitable Life policyholders have given their backing to the compromise scheme which caps its £2.6bn guaranteed annuity liability.98.1 per cent of those with Gar policies voted in favour, while 99.2 per cent of non-Gars also said yes.The successful vote clears the way for a £250m injection into the fund from Halifax, which owns Equitable&#39s operating […]

Small IFAs still lagging behind says FSA

The FSA says there are still small IFA firms who remain unwilling to take responsibility for pensions misselling they may have been involved in as its review winds to a close.Despite this, the regulator says it is on track to successfully complete the review by its target date of June 30, 2002. Figures from the […]

3 per cent fall in profits at Skipton

Skipton Building Society&#39s has announced a 3 per cent fall in profits to £39.3m for 2001 from £40.9m the previous year. It says this was mainly due to an “exceptional” boost to profits in 2000 from the sale of its Dealwise stockbroking business for £80 million. Skipton, which has 15 financial sector subsidiary firms including […]

Best UK all companies funds

ANDREW COWAN, director, Aitchison & ColegraveSometimes the performance of a fund is so consistently good, we have to conclude that the fund manager must be a rare talent. Fidelity special situations is such a fund and Anthony Bolton is such a fund manager. Leaving aside for a moment the Financial Services Authority&#39s doubts about past […]


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