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SFO to look into Penrose report on Equitable

Equitable Life&#39s former management may be the subject of a criminal investigation after it emerged that the Treasury has referred the Penrose report to the Serious Fraud Office.

The SFO has confirmed it has received the 800-page report and will be looking to see whether it is appropriate for it to carry out an investigation on the back of the report&#39s findings.

The independent inquiry into Equitable, headed by Lord Penrose, was ann-ounced by the Treasury in August 2001 with the aim of examining the circumstances that led to the firm&#39s problems and to identify any lessons to be learned for the conduct, admin and regulation of life insurance.

The report is still to be made available publicly and there is a widely held belief that the Treasury is criticised in the findings.

Equitable&#39s present board has indicated that it believes the hurdles of pursuing a legal challenge against the regulators of Equitable are likely to be too high to overcome, believing that the reopening of Parliamentary Ombudsman Ann Abraham&#39s inquiry may be the best way to advance policyholder compensation hopes.

Equitable Life late joiner representative Paul Weir says: “I would have been appalled and surprised if Lord Penrose did not see at least as much evidence as I have seen that would ring alarm bells regarding fraud.”


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Baring goes aggressively overweight in the Far East

Baring Asset Management has moved to an aggressively overweight position in Hong Kong and Singapore while maintaining its stance on Japan and emerging markets. BAM says it remains confident that growth in China will, despite predictions to the contrary, continue to grow rapidly, prompting it to maintain its overweight position there. It also believes the […]

Invesco Perpetual adds to distribution gang

Invesco Perpetual has added the Invesco Perpetual distribution fund to its Oeic fund range. This fund&#39s objective is income and growth by investing in a combination of at least 60 per cent in fixed interest and the remainder in equities. The fund will be managed by Paul Cause, Paul Read and Neil Woodford, who have […]

Sandler and Myners have got it wrong

Ron Sandler has been beating up on IFAs and product providers again, abetted by former fund management boss Paul Myners. In evidence to the Treasury select comm-ittee, Myners suggested commission sales should carry a health warning while Sandler warned of misselling if the current state of affairs continues. Sandler has also attacked providers&#39 obsession with […]

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(Another) downhill stroll — retirement planning

A report published this morning by the CIPD (CIPD Employee Outlook March 2015) provides yet more interesting data to the changing landscape of retirement planning. It should be remembered that we are in a period of genuine flux here given that the default retirement age was scrapped three years ago, and new pension freedoms come online in April. Both of these alterations will have a huge impact on how employees plan for their retirement.


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