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Parliamentary Ombudsman’s Equitable report delayed again

The Parliamentary Ombudsman has announced a further delay to its investigation into the prudential regulation of Equitable Life.

In a letter sent to MPs, PO Ann Abraham says due to the fact that the Government Actuary’s Department, the Treasury and FSA have sent her a joint 500 page response to her draft report, her final report will not published before the Summer recess.

The letter says she will now need time to consider the points made in the response before providing a revised draft report to all interested parties before the final report can be published.

The letter says she cannot give any further commitment as to the timetable for publication of the report.

Abraham announced last Autumn that her report was to be delayed until at least May 2007 after her team uncovered potentially vital information in evidence given to it by the Government, taking her investigation to over three years.

A National Newspaper leak of her draft report in March suggested Abraham would find the Government guilty of failing to properly regulate the provider and also attach blame to the FSA.

Abraham says she will provide a further update in October.

The letter says: “I recognise that this will be a disappointment to many of your constituents and I am sorry about that. At the same time, I am sure that my goal of producing a robust and authoritative report, which has benefited from the representations of those affected by the investigation, will ultimately best be served by my taking the time necessary to carefully consider the views of the bodies under investigation, of those representing Equitable policyholders and annuitants, and of others.”

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