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Silence on Equitable report

The FSA refused to answer questions about the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s damning Equitable Life report at the meeting, citing legal constraints as the reason for the silence.

When pushed to reveal the legal restrictions, outgoing chairman Callum McCarthy said it would be “inappropriate” to comment on the report before the Government.

Ann Abraham’s report called on the Government to compensate victims of Equitable Life after more than a decade of regulatory failings. She identified 10 counts of maladministration by regulatory bodies, including the FSA.

One of the delegates called for the FSA to be stripped of its consumer protection duties and said the regulator should volunteer to become subject to scrutiny by the National Audit Office and the Parliamentary Ombudsman.

McCarthy said those changes would be a matter for Parliament, not the FSA.

He refused to answer questions from the audience about why senior members of the FSA received pay rises despite failings over Northern Rock.


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