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Treves in attack on Emag leaders

Equitable Life chairman Vanni Treves has launched an astonishing vitriolic attack on the leaders of the Equitable Members&#39 Action Group, describing them as “vicious, volatile, venomous and vindictive”.

The attack came at the life office&#39s 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.”

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