The Government is expected to disappoint Equitable Life policyholders today by denying it has any obligation to provide compensation to those who lost money in the insurer's near collapse.
Speculation over the weekend suggests financial secretary to the Treasury Ruth Kelly is likely to say the problems at Equitable are more to do with a “hands off” regulatory framework put in place by the Conservatives, than by failures by officials to enforce rules.
It is believed the 818-page Penrose report being published this afternoon will be critical of financial regulators and the Government, especially its actuarial department. Former Equitable management is also expected to come under attack.
Equitable Life was forced to close to new business in 2000 after losing a House of Lords case over guaranteed annuity pension policies it wrote between 1957 and the late eighties.