Former Equitable Life appointed actuary and chief executive Roy Ranson is to be let off the hook by the FSA for his role in the insurer's downfall because of his age.
The FSA, which, contrary to reports, has denied it wants to ban Ranson's successor as appointed actuary and eventual chief executive Chris Headdon from financial services for life, believes that it would be an inefficient use of its resources to pursue Ranson, aged 73, as he is unlikely to return to the financial services market.
Ranson was Equitable's appointed actuary between 1982 and 1992 and from 1992 to 1997 held both the appointed actuary and chief executive roles. Lord Penrose describes him in his report on Equitable as “highly intelligent and articulate, but manipulative” and “autocratic”.
Headdon succeeded Ranson as appointed actuary in 1997, taking over as chief executive when Alan Nash resigned in 2000. Penrose says Headdon did not “make good” the lack of information and advice on actuarial matters to the board that occurred in Ranson's time.
Equitable says the FSA's announcement will not affect its plans for litigation against former directors, including Ranson, but declined to comment further on the decision.
FSA spokeswoman Kate Burns says: “We have not said anything publicly about Chris Headdon. It is true to say that we have decided not to take any action against Roy Ranson because it would not be an efficient use of our resources on the basis that at the age of 73 he is unlikely to return to financial services.”
Equitable Life spokesman Alistair Dunbar says: “We are suing former directors, including Mr Ranson, so it would be inappropriate for us to comment on what the FSA has said.”