View more on these topics

Product Equitable Life findings delayed until summer

The Penrose inquiry has confirmed it will not publish its findings into the Equitable Life collapse until next summer and is ruling out an interim report despite calls from MPs.

The secretary to the inquiry issued an open letter last week confirming the publication timetable after Liberal Democrat trade and industry spokesman Vincent Cable condemned the slow progress of the inquiry and demanded that Lord Penrose publish at least some findings soon.

The letter said summer publication could be delayed if witnesses fail to co-operate, unexpected new lines of inquiry are found or time has to be spent dealing with witness objections.

In October 2001, Treasury Financial Secretary Ruth Kelly said the inquiry would be published by the end of 2002 but in a debate in Parliament last week she ruled out an interim report, telling MPs “an artificial deadline would be counter-productive”.

Lord Penrose, a senior Scottish judge, whose inquiry had to process more than 500,000 documents from Equitable Life before interviewing witnesses, will be grilled by the Treasury select committee in January.

In a Commons debate last week, Cable said the delay in the conclusion of the Penrose Inquiry is seriously obstructing the progress of pre-1999 cases brought to the Parliamentary Ombudsman. He said: “What is emerging is an epic PhD thesis, not a snappy investigation into the fundamental causes of the problem.”

Annuity Direct director Stuart Bayliss says: “Penrose has a hell of a lot of information to go through – there are over 70 different sorts of policies with guarantees attached.

“All policyholders can do is keep up the pressure in the same way people like Vincent Cable keep doing. However long it takes, the issue that won&#39t go away is whether the level of regulatory negligence is sufficient to merit compensation.”

•Equitable Life is appointing former Abbey National group finance director James Tyrrell as finance consultant to fill the place vacated by the resignation of chief finance and investment officer Charles Bellringer.


The background

(i) Basic legislation was introduced in 1984 mainly to counter use of particular funds to convert income into capital gains because in 1984 the difference in the taxation of income and capital gains was significant. Despite some convergence, the capital gains tax (CGT) rules remain more generous to this day. (ii) The 1984 rules introduced […]

55% pass mark for mortgage exam in October

Nearly 1,300 people passed the Mortgage Advice Qualification exam out of 2,352 candidates who sat the test in October, says the Chartered Insurance Institute.The figure takes the total number of holders of the qualification to 11,162, with the CII having a further 5,220 candidates registered to take the exam.To assist the remaining advisers to pass […]

Warning on income products

The FSA has issued a paper warning investors of the risks they face from structured products, corporate bonds and other high-income-producing products.The factsheet, Make Sure You Understand the Risks, advises investors to avoid high-income products unless they appreciate that their capital could fall considerably.The regulator warns that some products are designed to give maximum benefit […]

Current meaning of UK domicile

Domicile is different from nationality (i.e. citizenship) and residence or ordinary residence and a person can have only one domicile at any one time under UK law. This would not prevent another country, e.g. Sweden, from deeming an individual to be domiciled in Sweden under Swedish law at the same time as being domiciled in […]

US equity income: the standout market

By James Hackman, head of US Equities at Neptune With a growing dividend market, very low payout ratios and high dividend cover, the US is one of the standout equity income markets globally. It is also one of the most unloved. James Hackman, manager of the top-performing Neptune US Income Fund, highlights six key facts […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm