Equitable Life chairman Vanni Treves has launched an astonishing vitriolic attack on the leaders of the Equitable Members' Action Group, describing them as “vicious, volatile, venomous and vindictive”.
The attack came at the life office's AGM in London last week as Emag lost its bid to force Equitable to pay £2m to a fighting fund to sue the Government for regulatory failings.
Policyholders overwhelmingly rejected the Emag resolution by 79 per cent of votes.
Emag wanted Equitable to pursue a legal case against the Government even though the life office had received legal advice saying there was no realistic claim.
Treves responded to a question from the floor asking why the Equitable board could not work with Emag in a constructive way by producing a series of slides showing Emag accusing board members of a lack of trustworthiness, gerrymandering and manipulative trickery.
Treves said: “Emag, through its leadership, has been vicious, volatile, venomous and vindictive. Putting it bluntly, we regard the leadership as untrustworthy and unreliable. With a different leadership, we could wipe the slate clean. I am sure many members deplore what is said by the leadership.”
Emag accused Treves of being heavy-handed in ambushing its resolution, which was supported by more than 1,000 members. A second resolution calling for Equitable to meet the expense of dealing with the resolution was rejected by the same majority, leaving the society threatening to pursue Emag for £50,000 spent on the issue.
Emag spokesman Paul Braithwaite says: “Yes, both Emag and Equitable have intemperate chairmen. The difference is that Emag is seeking billions of pounds in compensation for policyholders whereas the Equitable board is not.”