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MP urges Treasury committee to probe case again

Treasury select committee member Philip Dunne, MP, has called for the committee to look again at the regulatory failings over Equitable Life and the case for compensation.

The Conservative MP for Ludlow says that the parliamentary ombudsman’s findings of maladministration against regulators and call for compensation should trigger the committee to revisit its inquiry into Equitable Life, which produced an interim report in 2003.

Dunne says: “There is clearly a case for the Treasury select committee to consider a compensation regime and how this would affect the public finances.”

He believes that a cross-party inquiry might help the Government to reach a quick decision and encourage the prompt payment of compensation to any eligible policyholders.

He says: “This should not be dragged out for years, since policyholders need compensation payments while they are still here to benefit.”

But Hargreaves Lansdown head of pensions research Tom McPhail says the Tory MP’s comments may be politically motivated.

He says: “The party has been broadly supportive of Equitable Life members’ claims for compensation and so I am not entirely surprised to hear him push for this. With so much focus on the state of the public finances at the moment, it may be a case of the Conservatives trying to push this button and focus attention on Labour’s shortcomings.”

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