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MEPs say there’s no pot of gold for Equitable policyholders

The European Parliament committee investigating the Equitable Life crisis has warned policyholders that there will be no “pot of gold” for them at the end of their inquiry.

The committee said the enquiry is more an opportunity to explain what happened to policyholders and scrutinise legislation and propose recommendations to ensure such a scenario does not arise again.

The committee said UK regulation had been “light touch” at the time of Equitable’s problems and the committee was looking at whether this contributed.

The MEPs were in London this week to interview Treasury Economic Secretary Ed Balls, FSA chairman Sir Callum McCarthy, Treasury select committee chairman John McFall and Financial Ombudsman Service chief Walter Merricks.

Parliamentary Ombudsman Ann Abraham is also holding an inquiry into the regulation of Equitable Life – and will make a statement on timing this week. The MEPs hope to use her evidence to help their report, due next spring.

Irish MEP Mairead McGuinness says: “We hope to be able to explain to policyholders what happened and make sure this does not happen again but we do not have a pot of gold for them.”


Report calls on local authorities to give equity-release loans

Local authorities should start providing equity-release mortgages to give the market much-needed impetus, says the influential Joseph Rowntree Foundation. A study by the foundation says a drastic solution is required to resolve the problem of consumers having little faith in the market without more high-street brands being involved, while many brands will not enter until […]

SJP is offloading mortgage-only ARs

American giant General Electric has failed to make a significant return on its investment in GE Life after the 465m sale of the retirement specialist to Swiss Re, it is claimed. GE spent 413m alone on the two acquisitions that constituted the majority of GE Life – 370m for National Mutual in 2002 and 43m […]

HBOS is the best in show

The Midland Bank was once regarded as the Listening Bank but today it can be applied more deservingly to HBOS which is winning graciously and seems unencumbered by arrogance, vanity or complacency.

Waist not

The Diary left the Institute of Financial Planning conference in rainy Leicester last week in a state of outrage at the terrible bullying inflicted on jovial IFP chief executive Nick Cann throughout the two-day affair. In a particularly unpleasant session, a Selestia representative continually compared the IFP’s esteemed leader with Tinky Winky – by some […]


Guide: how to change your auto-enrolment support

As we approach the two-year milestone of auto-enrolment, employers have had the opportunity to truly assess the capabilities of their chosen support. They are also now realising that getting to the staging date was the easy part, and that support is required for almost every aspect of the day to day running of their scheme. With the three-year re-enrolment window coinciding for many with the total removal of commission and Active Member Discounts from pension-related products and services, as well as the introduction of the pension charge cap in April 2015, many employers will have no choice but to review their support options. But, what is involved in transitioning your auto-enrolment scheme away from your current support options? This guide from Johnson Fleming aims to outline some of these key areas and provide information and discussion points on what you need to consider.


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