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European Parliament set to probe FSA’s role in Equitable Life debacle

The European Parliament is to investigate the Equitable Life debacle.

It is setting up a committee with a draft mandate to assess whether the FSA consistently failed to protect policyholders and whether the European Commission properly monitored the application of EU legislation by the UK Government.

Treasury officials could be called to give evidence on their role in the Equitable debacle and the “alleged contraventions or maladministration in the implemen-tation of Community law”.

Over one million UK Equitable policyholders and more than 15,000 in other EU countries incurred losses to their pensions, savings or investments.

The decision to set up a committee requires endorsement by the full European Parliament at a plenary session this week. The team of 22 will have 12 months to complete its report, with an interim report expected in four months’ time.

A report is also expected from the UK Parliamentary Ombudsman this year on any culpability by the Government in regulating the life company.

Equitable Members ‘Action Group chairman Paul Braithwaite says: “We have been speaking to members of the European Parliament since 2004 and we are very pleased about this development. This shows that MEPs are willing to engage with policyholders with what has been a deep-seated will of Government to sweep this injustice under the carpet. It is a refreshing example of MEPs proving value to citizens.”

The FSA was unable for comment.

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