Members of the European Parliament labelled the Government’s £1.5bn compensation package for Equitable Life victims “inadequate” at a meeting of the Parliament’s petitions committee last week.
The remarks came in response to an update to the committee from the Equitable Members Action Group, which said the compensation was insufficient and its allocation “makes no sense”.
The MEPs spoke three years after they completed their official report on Equitable in 2007.
In October, Chancellor George Osborne announced in the comprehensive spending review that compensation would be paid to Equitable Life policyholders who may not have inv-ested if it were not for regulatory failures. It later emerged that the package excludes all pre-1992 annuitants.
EP committee of inquiry chair Mairead McGuinness said: “We& as MEPs owe the policyholders a response to the UK Government’s proposals. We want fairness across Europe.”
Labour MEP Michael Cashman described the package as a “sorry and shabby business”, saying “no political party in the UK comes out well”.
Liberal Democrats MEP Diana Wallis said the plight of Equitable victims could be contras-ted with that of UK victims of the Icelandic banking collapse, who “were immediately compensated”.
Pension Transfer Solutions managing director Carl Melvin says: “These people have been treated appallingly and a more generous package should be proposed but MEPs can petition the European court, not the UK Government.
“Really, any political influence should be directed at the UK Government. I think this is just hot air, I cannot see what they can tangibly do.”
Worldwide Financial Planning IFA Nick McBreen says: “At some stage, you have to draw a line in the sand. How deep is the purse and how wide can it spread to take in everybody who was affected?”