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MPs turn spotlight on Axa orphan cash

MPs are urging the Government to ensure policyholders get their fair share of orphan asset cash in a debate in the House of Commons this week.

LibDem trade and industry spokesman Vincent Cable will use an Opposition day debate to warn that the interests of policyholders may be neglected unless the Government takes action to protect them.

Cable argues it is unclear whether responsibility for policyholders&#39 interests lies with the Government or with the FSA and that policyholders could fall between the two.

The Government is already facing calls from some Labour backbenchers for a windfall tax on orphan assets to compensate pension misselling cases.

But the Government has simply reiterated its position that orphan assets can be used to fund part of pension review assets in the standard 90/10 split between policyholders and shareholders.

The move comes as a dissident group of Axa policyholders, fronted by the Consumers&#39 Association, takes the life office to court to challenge its recent orphan asset deal in a bid to secure better terms. Axa has secured the backing of more than 70 per cent of Axa Equity & Law members.

Cable says: “The Govern-has a responsibility to safeguard policyholders&#39 interests.”

Labour backbencher Harry Cohen MP says: “I would still like to see a windfall tax as a powerful case can be made that much of this money does not truly belong to either existing policyholders or shareholders. There are huge sums involved and any distribution of them should contain a proportion for socially beneficial use like improving pension provision.”

The case, brought by the CA, was ongoing at the time of going to press.

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