The chair of the European Parliament’s inquiry into Equitable Life says the UK Par-liamentary Ombudsman is policyholders’ only hope for compensation.
But MEP Mairead McGuinness warned policyholders they should not expect UK Parliamentary Ombudsman Ann Abraham to recommend that they get compensation, particularly after Equitable chief executive Charles Thompson told the meeting he is not “overly hopeful” that Abraham’s recommendations will lead to payouts.
At the group’s latest evidence meeting last week, EU internal market commissioner Charlie McCreevy admitted that the European Commission is powerless to help policyholders, telling MEPs: “If we get a complaint, we investigate” but noting: “Prime responsibility lies with the member states.”
The group of MEPs plans to publish its report next April. The intention was to wait until after Abraham published her report but this has been delayed until at least May 2007.
McGuinness says: “It is unfortunate there is so little confidence in the UK process achieving a result.”