MPs to write to Mark Hoban over Equitable Life

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The All-party Parliamentary group for Equitable Life policyholders is preparing to write to Treasury financial secretary Mark Hoban raising concerns over the progress of compensation and the accuracy of advice being given by the Government body handling the payouts.

The Treasury says the vast majority of individual policyholders due a payment will have received it by this summer. In February, £70m out of a total of £1.5bn of compensation had been paid out, a figure the Treasury said covers 20 per cent of all individual policyholders due a payment from the scheme

According to APPG secretary and Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Lloyd, representatives of Equitable Members Action Group told MPs at a meeting last week that many claimants have still to be contacted. The letter will ask Hoban whether he still considers the deadline feasible.

Last October, Emag claimed the Treasury refused to use a database of Equitable Life policyholders it had compiled to help speed up the process.

Along with a postal address for written enquiries, the helpline provides advice for those seeking or being compensated in relation to their investments in Equitable Life. Lloyd, who is also a member of the work and pensions select committee says Emag also told the MPs people were being given incorrect information by the helpline.

Lloyd says: “We will be writing to Hoban raising our concerns over the timing of the payments, the fact that people are not being paid and whether the commitment to have made most payouts by next month is still feasible.

“EMAG told us people were getting the wrong information and now they are putting some evidence together to back that up. With these kind of things nine times out of 10 it is incompetence rather than conspiracy but people need to be getting the correct information.”

The letter will follow one sent last week by Conservative MP for Aylesbury David Lidington who, as a foreign office minister, is unable to be a member of the APPG.