Parliamentary Ombudsman Report
Equitable Life: a decade of regulatory failure
The final report by the Parliamentary Ombudsman was presented to Parliament on July 16th. Generally, it has been well received with little criticism by the media, save a question about how and who should pay for any compensation awarded.
Her report included the Executive Summary of the submission I made on behalf of ELTA that is set out on the following pages.
The Government will take its time to reflect on the issues raised and decide what actions to take.
Of course our primary concern is the payment of compensation to the With Profits Annuitants of Equitable Life, who more or less entirely have been transferred to the Prudential.
It is by no means certain if any compensation will be awarded, or when and more importantly for us, the method by which claims can be made, assessed and paid.
The With-Profits Annuitants have greater hurdles than other claimants as they require the services of an actuary and probably an accountant and solicitor. For the present, I will not go into reasons why this is the case save to state that assessing losses for an annuitant is a very complex process requiring expertise probably none of us have and access to data that for the normal individual is simply unavailable.
We are currently considering how to use the expertise that we acquired in the recent litigation to see if a service can be offered and at what cost to individuals who, in due course, wish to claim. We will report back when we can state precisely what we can do and the associated cost.
In the meantime if you have not already registered with ELTA, then please send me an e-mail and I will ensure you are kept informed of developments.
22 July 2008