News History

Click here for a potted history


23 March 2017   Backbench Business Committee Equitable Life Debate

11 February 2016   Debate in Parliament on Equitable

26 February 2015   Debate in Parliament on Equitable 11.30am

22 October 2014   EMAG Westminster Rally

14 November 2013   EMAG AGM Birmingham.

11 September 2013  All Party Parliamentary Group Meeting 2.00pm 

26 July 2013  Public Accounts Committee Report on Equitable Life 

15 May 2013  Meeting of APPG Group of MPs on Compensation administration problems 

13 March 2013  Visteon Pensioners Rally to Downing Street and Palace Yard

21 June 2012  EMAG Meeting Corby

22 May 2012  EMAG Board Meeting

4 May 2012  EMAG Meeting Cochester

1 May 2012  EMAG Meeting New Forest

25 April 2012  Equitable Life APPG

7 March 2012  Parliament Protest

5 March 2012  EMAG Croydon Meeting 

8 December 2011  EMAG Oxford Meeting 

7 December 2011  EMAG Norwich Meeting

1 December 2011  EMAG Tunbridge Wells Meeting

15 November 2011  EMAG Swindon Meeting

10 November 2011  Equitable Life APPG

Summer 2011  Compensation cheques to start being sent out

16 May 2011  Equitable Life Payment Scheme Published

28 March 2011  Equitable Offer Payout of 12.4%

January 2011  Independent Commission  to Report

10 November 2010  3rd Reading of Equitable Life Payments Bill

20 October 2010  Announcement of compensation as part of Public Spending Review

14 September 2010  Parliamentary Debate - Equitable Payments Bill

22 July 2010  Mark Hoben MP's statement to the House of Commons on compensation

20 July 2010  Parliamentary Debate on Equitable Life

4 June 2010  Ernst & Young fined by JDS over Equitable Life

24 February 2010  Equitable All Party Group Meeting Committee Room 10, 15.15hrs

29 January 2010  Closing date for representations to Sir John Chadwick's Interim Report

16 December 2009  Sir John Chadwick to outline latest findings on ex-gratia scheme

December 2009  JDS Document on E&Y Due to be Published 

23 November 2009  Equitable Announce Transfer of Admin to HCL (.pdf)

4 November 2009  EMAG Big Rally and Lobby of Parliament

21 October 2009  Debate on Equitable in Parliament

15 October 2009  Judgment on EMAG Judicial Review backs policyholders

5 October 2009  E&Y Appeal to be heard

24 July 2009  Chris Wiscarson is appointed Chief Executive of Equitable

21 July 2009  Start of EMAG's three day hearing in High Court

24 June 2009  Completion date for Treasury defence in High Court

23 June 2009  Equitable Adjournment Debate Westminster Hall

21 June 2009  Ernst & Young Drop Gagging Order on JDS Report on Equitable

18 June 2009  Ernst & Young Appeal in High Court re Privacy of JDS Report

11 June 2009  Stafford policyholders meeting with David Kidney MP

18 May 2009  Westminster Hall - MP Debate on Equitable (HMG response to Parliamentary Ombudsman’s report on Equitable Life) 

28 March 2009  Equitable Life Meeting in South Redditch Sports & Social Club, Redditch 11.30am

29 January 2009  PASC - PO's Memorandum to PASC

29 January 2009  PASC to hear reaction to Government's proposals on Equitable Life

27 January 2009  Steve Webb MP, Lib Dem led Adjournment debate at 11am

15 January 2009  Yvette Cooper MP replies to the PO's report, postponed from Autumn 2008

December 2008  Joint Disciplinary Report on Ernst & Young (Equitable's auditors) due 

9 December 2008  Public Administration Select Committee

1 December 2008  EU Petitions Committee Discuss Equitable

26 November 2008  AADB announce new investigation into Equitable

20 November 2008  MP Briefing Meeting with EMAG 10.30am Committee Room 13

13 November 2008  Public Administration Select Committee interviews 

12 November 2008  MP Briefing Meeting with Vanni Treves and Charles Thomson of Equitable 11am Committee Room 7

11 November 2008  Action Groups and Equitable Management Appear before Public Administration Select Committee 

30 October 2008  PO Appears before Public Administration Select Committee 

17 July 2008  Publish date of Parliamentary Ombudsman Report on Equitable Life

10 July 2008  Press Statement from the PO

23 January 2008 European Parliament Meet on Equitable

10 January 2008  Equitable Settles with Annuitants

6 December 2007  PO Writes to MPs regarding delay to Report

28 November 2007  High Court ratification of Prudential transfer

27 November 2007  Transfer of With Profits Annuity Policies to Prudential

31 October 2007  Transfer of With Profits Annuity Policies to Prudential (Vanni Treves and Charles Thomson)

26 October 2007  EGM on transfer to Prudential

21 August 2007  Letter Delivered to Treasury regarding European Parliament Report

Summer 2007  Issue of European Parliament Report into Equitable Life

19 June 2007  EQUI results announced

Spring 2007  Planned issue of Parliamentary Onbudsman Report into Equitable Life

24 April 2007  Equitable MVA reduced to 5%

March 2007  Ernst & Young Hearing by the JDA

15 March 2007 - Equitable Sells W/P Annuitants Book to Prudential

2 March 2007- Roy Ranson ex MD of Equitable expelled from Institute of Actuaries

1 February 2007  Court hearing on Equitable non-profit transfer to Canada Life

4 January 2007  European Inquiry asks for three month extension

17 October 2006  Parliamentary Ombudsman Report Delayed

17 October 2006  Action Group meeting with PO team

16 October 2006  Equitable Inquiry MEPs to visit London

6 October 2006  Equitable Inquiry MEPs to visit Dublin

11 May 2006  Equitable Announces Transfer of Annuitants Book to Canada Life

2 May 2006  2.30pm - Select Committee on Public Administration discuss Parliamentary Ombudsman' Report on Occupational Pension failures.

24 February 2006  Parliamentary Ombudsman writes to MPs

19 January 2006  European Committee Confirmed

19 January 2006  European Parliament Probe into Equitable Life

19 December 2005  Serious Fraud Office not to Investigate Equitable Life

16 December 2005  European Parliament to Investigate Equitable Life disaster

2 December 2005 Equitable Completes Court Case

28 October 2005 Equitable Settles Case Against ex-MD Roy Ranson

19 October 2005  Equitable drops Claim Against Nash

17 October 2005  Equitable drops Lost Sale Claim

22 September 2005  Equitable settle legal claim with Ernst and Young click here for E&Y press release policyholder letter in Word

19 September 2005  Re-convening of E&Y and ex-directors' High Court hearing

13 September 2005  Petitions Committee of the European Parliament meet to discuss Equitable.

18 July 2005  Equitable Life abandons £1.3bn lost sale claim.

15 June 2005  Meeting of Action Groups with Parliamentary Ombudsman Team

27 May 2005  Meeting of EMAG with Parliamentary Ombudsman Team

11 April 2005 Commencement of E&Y court case and ex director case planned.

6 December 2004  EMAG drops Judicial Review against the Parliamentary Ombudsman

5-12 October 2004  Parliamentary Ombudsman Inquiry - initial meetings with Equitable action groups

22 September 2004  E&Y High Court hearing in front of Justice Langley. E&Y loses ruling on expert evidence.

2 August 2004 The Joint Disciplinary Scheme set to to accuse Ernst & Young of audit failure in its dealings with Equitable Life

22 July 2004  Parliamentary Ombudsman's jurisdiction to include GAD

19 July 2004  Parliamentary Ombudsman agrees to a full inquiry into the regulation of Equitable

1 June 2004  Chris Headdon banned from holding financial role for six years until 2010

19 May 2004  Equitable Life AGM

12 May 2004  EMAG meet with Treasury Minister Ruth Kelly MP

28 April 2004  Annuitants announce that they plan to sue Equitable

17 April 2004  FSA statement re Roy Ranson

31 March 2004  Equitable announce 2003 results

24 March 2004  Commons debate on Equitable (click for Hansard)

16 March 2004  TreasComm meeting with Lord Penrose and Ruth Kelly

16 March 2004  Equitable Sufferers Protest Meeting Norwich 11.00am The Assembly House

8 March 2004  Penrose Report published 3.30pm announcement by Ruth Kelly MP (Ruth Kelly's Statement)

13 February 2004  Pension Demonstration outside Royal Courts of Justice, the Strand, 12.00pm

7 February 2004  BBC Interview with Chris Headdon (.pdf)

23 January 2004  Treasury refer Penrose Report to the Serious Fraud Office

21 January 2004  Equitable hold Press Conference re Penrose

31 December 2003  Charles Thomson Interview with BBC 5 Live

23 December 2003  Penrose Report delivered to Treasury

2 December 2003  EDM 176 raised by Ian Gibson MP

27 November 2003  Parliamentary Ombudsman meets with Public Administration Committee

26 November 2003  Equitable Statement on Subordinated Unguaranteed Bonds

26 November 2003  Sir Philip Otton announces his retirement from Equitable Board

12 November 2003  Equitable Interim results issued (.pdf)

4 November 2003 Parliament Pension Summit 2pm Portcullis House - Insurance and Compensation

4 November 2003  Adjournment Debate on Equitable - morning Westminster Hall

17 October 2003  Judge Langley allows Equitable to go ahead with lawsuit against former directors

14 October 2003  Meeting of E7 Equitable Action Groups

22 September 2003 Nine former non-exec Equitable directors start legal challenge against the Equitable lawsuit

25 July 2003 The ruling in the strikeout action by Ernst & Young against the Society was handed down in the Courts of Justice in the Society's favour. Click for Equitable's press release

17 July 2003 FSA AGM at Canary Wharf  (webcast of proceedings)

12 July 2003 - EMAG Seek to Challenge PO Report through Judicial Review

4 July 2003 - EDM set up by John Barrett MP

1 July 2003 Parliamentary Ombudsman Report is launched see press notice and Equitable's reaction 

30 June 2003 - Letter from Parliamentary Ombudsman to MPs 

17 June 2003 Letter from Lord Penrose to TreasComm becomes public domain.

11 June 2003 Equitable announce that they will challenge the FOS findings.

8 June 2003 Pensions protest march  Please come along and give your support. Be at Tothill Street (St James' Park tube) for 11:30.

4 June 2003  Announcement that Penrose will be delayed unitl the Autumn

4 June 2003  (EDM) 1337 has been put forward by Dr Ian Gibson Lab (North Norwich). See below

28 May 2003 Equitable AGM Wembley Conference Centre

23 May 2003Adjudications  issued on five "lead cases" on "GAR-related claims" by Financial Ombudsman Service finds AGAINST Equitable

21 May 2003 Equitable Meeting with EPHAG and ELM. Click for Minutes

19 May 2003 Commencement of appeal against Ernst & Young, Equitable's ex-auditors.

1 April 2003 Equitable crystallise 10% cut on final bonuses across all policies.  

31 March 2003 Equitable preliminary Accounts ready. Click for Press Release See www.equitable.co.uk for the 2002 accounts.

31 March 2003 Final date for Equitable to file FSA returns. 

27 March 2003 BBC2 21.50 The Death of Equitable Life

6 March 2003 Parliamentary Ombudsman before Select Committee on Public Admin 

25 February 2003 Letter from Lord Penrose to the Treasury Select Committee

21 February 2003 Reply from the Parliamentary Ombudsman to EPHAG

10 February 2003 Judge reports in the Ernst & Young strike out request.  Click here for Court Judgement summing up

1 February 2003 Pension Protest Day -  "Stripped of our pension". Click for more info

31 January 2003 ELAS policyholder meeting at The Assembly House,  Theatre Street, Norwich at 11.00am. ALL WELCOME.  Click for details.

21 January 2003 Equitable situation discussed in the House of Lords. Click here for Hansard.

13 January 2003 Start of the Ernst & Young court case

17 December 2002 Meeting of EL policyholders in The Assembly House in Theatre Street, Central Norwich at 11 am. ALL WELCOME.

17 December 2002 Launch of government Green Paper into pensions.

27 November 2002 Dr Vincent Cable MP is holding an Adjournment Debate at Westminster Hall 9.30am-11.00am on Equitable, see Hansard. Click for EMAG report. 

26 November 2002 ELM and with profit annuitants meet with Lord Penrose. Click for Minutes (.pdf)

31 October 2002 Lord Higgins, who is the Tory front bench spokesman on Work and Pensions matters in the Lords, has an oral question "To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will give an assurance that the report of the Penrose Committee on Equitable Life will be published.."

29 October 2002 Anniversary of Parliamentary Ombudsman agreeing to do a limited inquiry into Equitable Life. Seven action groups as E7, backed by MPs, the Consumers' Association and hopefully Equitable Life asked him to extend his inquiry to cover the full fiasco at 12.00pm outside Parliament. An anniversary cake was presented. Click for E7 press release also click for statement by Parliamentary Ombudsman

15 October 2002 Ernst & Young  appear in the high court seeking a stay of the Joint Disciplinary Scheme's (JDS) investigation against the firm regarding its auditing of Equitable Life, but fail.

2 October 2002 Action Group meeting

30 September 2002 B&W Deloitte report is issued on the case for late joiners. Click for press release.

12 September 2002 Paul Braithwaite (EMAG) and Liz Kwantes (ELM) meet with the Consumers' Association regarding compensation for Equitable policyholders.

19 August 2002 Announcement that the Penrose Inquiry is delayed until 2003.

9 August 2002 Lawyers Class Law announce the "Standstill Agreement" whereby those International policyholders who exited the WP Fund prior to the compromise agreement and joined in the legal fund have succeeded in agreeing a process of compensation which MAY not involve the courts and heavy legal fees for both policyholders and ELAS. See International page.

25 July 2002 Halifax interim accounts state "As a result of the compromise scheme having become effective prior to 1 March 2002, in accordance with the terms of the acquisition, HBOS is obliged to pay up to a further £250m depending on the extent to which certain new business sales and profitability targets are achieved in 2003 and 2004 by the distribution channel acquired from The Equitable. No provision has been made at 30 June 2002 for this contingent consideration because it is not currently expected that any payment will be made".
18 July 2002
FSA Annual General Meeting.
11 July 2002 Alan Pickering (ex NAPF) Recomendations on Pension Reform (.pdf format) issued into the public domain.
9 July 2002 Ron Sandler Review on Retail Savings in the UK on behalf of the government issued into the public domain. Also see Stephen Wynn's comments on the Sandler Report.
1 July 2002
The financial adjustment for early surrenders moves from 14 per cent to 20 per cent. The maturity value for policyholders choosing to take benefits will be reduced by 10 per cent, previously 4 per cent, unless this takes the value below guaranteed value, in which case the guaranteed value will be paid.

28 May 2002 Announcement of vote for directors. Of the nine candidates, those voted onto the Board are Vanni Treves, Charles Bellringer, Ron Bullen, Fred Shedden, Peter Smith, Michael Pickard.
27 May 2002
Equitable Life AGM QE Conference Centre. A write up can also be seen on the EMAG website. Some answers to the questions that were not able to be included at the AGM can also be seen on the Equitable web site. Click here.

8 May 2002 EMAG hold Press Conference on Blake II Report. Click here to see report.
1 May 2002 Equitable Life announce Accounts for Year 2001. These can be seen on the website of Equitable Life Assurance Society

24 April 2002 Equitable announce they are to take legal action against 15 previous directors of Society. NEW - See claims for Chris Headdon and Alan Nash.

15 April 2002 Ernst & Young response to Equitable

15 April 2002 Equitable increases MVA to 14% from 10%. Click for Press release.

15 April 2002 Equitable Life announce three new Board Directors. Charles Bellringer the current FD, Ron Bullen Chairman of EPHAG and Fred Shedden, a Scottish lawyer.

11 April 2002 Equitable Life and Action Groups meet to discuss Government Compensation, Disadvantaged Groups, Administration at Aylesbury and Governance.

21 March  2002 Christopher Chope MP raises an EDM 1053 regarding Equitable Life, TreasComm and the Parliamentary Ombudsman.


21 March  2002 Equitable announces procedure on alleged misselling

21 March  2002 Roy Beggs to address Parliament re his EDM.

15 March  2002 Press Release issued by Roy Beggs MP re the Early Day Motion.

13 March  2002 Equitable ask for applications for up to two new non Exec Directors. See Press Release.

12 March  2002 Meeting of action groups regarding strategies post the Compromise and "the way forward".  Click for Press Release

14 February  2002 Equitable given opportunity to appeal in Hughman case. See Press Release.

8 February  2002 Compromise scheme sanctioned in High Court See Press Release.

28 January  2002 Compromise scheme Results See Press Release.

Total GARs saying NO = 1078 total non GARs saying NO = 2,670

21 January  2002 Equitable give clarification of compromise vote See Press Release.

11 January 2002 Members' Meeting at Wembley Conference Centre.  See Report of GAR Meeting, also Report of non GAR Meeting  (.pdf) and Question by Paul Braithwaite.

9 January 2002 Postal votes to have been received by Equitable

19 December 2001 EMAG unveil the report produced by Professor David Blake of London University's Birkbeck College that analyses the Compromise Scheme. Report is available in pdf form

13 December 2001 Equitable send letter to with profits annuitants.  Letter is available in pdf form.

12 December 2001 Equitable issue press release regarding the vote.  Press Release is available in pdf form.

7 December 2001 FSA back Equitable's Compromise Proposal and state that it is fair.  The FSA comments are available in pdf form.

6 December 2001 Equitable launch the Compromise Proposal which is due to start arriving with members from today. Equitable press release is available in pdf form.

5 December 2001 Meeting of ELJAG in London. 

3 December 2001 Meeting between Equitable and Action Groups on with profit annuitants and the Compromise Proposal.

29 November 2001 - Equitable issue press release regarding the progress of Herbert Smith. www.equitable.co.uk (Choose Corporate/Press Releases/Herbert Smith Enquiry) See Press Release.

November 27 2001 The Financial Services Authority launch a new probe into Equitable Life following the discovery of a letter from Chris Heddon which the regulator says raises questions about statements the mutual life assurer has made about its financial strength.

27 November 2001 - Equitable welcomes High Court decision See Press Release.

26 November 2001 Mr Justice Lloyd ruled in the High Court that Equitable Life may send their Compromise Scheme to policyholders for voting See Press Release.

26 November 2001 A copy of a letter from Chris Headdon dated 1 April 1999 regarding re-insurance is to be investigated by the FSA. Click here for FSA report

16 November 2001The first meeting of the Late Joiners action group was held at the offices of Clarke Willmott & Clarke in Bristol. Click here for a write-up of the meeting.

13 November 2001 Treasury Select Committee public evidence session on Equitable Life, 10.30am. Chairman of the FSA Sir Howard Davies and staff of the FSA.

31 October 2001 Adjournment debate in the House of Commons (click here) about maladministration in the Civil Service with regard to Equitable Life.

30 October 2001 Treasury Select Committee public evidence session on Equitable Life (for write-up click here)

29 October 2001 The Parliamentary Ombudsman has decided to reverse his decision of a month ago and he WILL now set up an independent inquiry into maladministration by the FSA with reference to Equitable Life. This will be on a Statutory basis, so the findings will be binding. He is limiting the period of investigation to exactly the same period as Baird - i.e. the 23 months from Jan 1999 to Dec 8th 2000 fund closure. Click here for more information. Equitable welcomed this. See Press Release

18 October 2001 Scope of Protection to Guernsey Branch Policyholders under UK Legislation (issued by Norton Rose 11 October 2001)

17 October 2001  Parliamentary Debate on Equitable Life (click here for Transcript)

17 October 2001 FSA (Baird report) on the role of the regulators is made available by the Treasury. Click here for the report and Government response. The Press Release issued by the FSA is also available giving a summary of the report. Click here.  Equitable Life has a press release. (Choose Corporate then Press releases). 

16 October 2001

- Notice to Income Drawdown Group Members and Potential members.

- Report of the Meeting with the FSA on 10 October 2001

- See transcript of AEEU resolution at the Labour Party Conference 

12 October 2001  Completion of Compromise Proposal Consultation Period.  Click here to see EMAG/ELM Submission. and click here for EPHAG's Statement

10 October 2001 Action Groups gather in joint meeting with FSA's new chief John Tiner. The FSA confirmed that the Baird Report had been sent to the Treasury this week.

Sunday 30th September There will be an informal meeting in Cumbria with Jean Wood one of the new non executive Directors who will speak about the Compromise package and listen to members concerns. 

6.45pm for 7.00pm start. It will be in the Conference Room at the Lakeside Hotel, Lakeside, near Newby Bridge. About one mile up the Hawkshead Road from Newby Bridge - on the right hand side. Masses of parking space. (Lakeside Hotel is not to be confused with the Swan Hotel or The Newby Bridge Hotel). If you would like to attend please contact John Dawson (Cumbria Group Co-ordinator) e-mail john@still-holm.com

21 September 2001 Paul Braithwaite, Chairman of EMAG and Liz Kwantes representing Equitable Life Members Help Group had an informal meeting with Lord Penrose at the Treasury. Lord Penrose asked if policy holders and ex-policy holders, particularly those who joined in the 1950's, 1960's and 1970's, would be willing to supply documentation that they had received from Equitable Life. This is to be formalised by Lord Penrose in a letter stating his requirements.

20 September 2001 Compromise proposals announced.  Average 17.5% uplift for GARs to give up the GAR and 2.5% uplift for non GARs to give up any mis-selling claims. The Equitable's website gives details of the Compromise Proposal and also legal opinion regarding pension's mis-selling claims by the non GARs. Telephone comments on 0870 1666626. Email comments to comments@equitable.co.uk.

18 September 2001 Action group meeting with EL Board of Directors on content of Compromise proposals and Warren II. See EMAG's Comments.

12 September  2001  MVA Raised to 10% Equitable's website gives the press release

Current MVA's (now re-named MVR) by Life Co

10 September 2001 The Scottish National Party's Westminster Spokesperson on Trade & Industry Mr Mike Weir MP met with Mr Paul Braithwaite, Chairman of the Equitable Members' Action Group (EMAG); and Ms Liz Kwantes, Chair of the Equitable Life Members' Help Group, in order to discuss how the campaign for justice for Equitable Life policyholders can be taken forward in the new session of the House of Commons. Click for Press Release

10 September 2001 The Scottish National Party's Westminster Spokesperson on Trade & Industry Mr Mike Weir MP met with Mr Paul Braithwaite, Chairman of the Equitable Members' Action Group (EMAG); and Ms Liz Kwantes, Chair of the Equitable Life Members' Help Group, in order to discuss how the campaign for justice for Equitable Life policyholders can be taken forward in the new session of the House of Commons. Click for Press Release

August 31 2001 The Treasury announce a public inquiry into Equitable Life and the circumstances that forced it to close to new business under Lord Penrose.

22 August 2001 Action Group Meeting with Equitable Board of Directors. Click for Press Release

16 August 2001 The Guernsey Financial Services Commission has appointed the London Law Firm, Norton Rose, to examine a number of concerns relating to the Guernsey branch operation of Equitable Life Assurance Society; in particular Norton Rose has been asked to consider the position of  international policyholders both in connection with the “ring-fencing” issue and the potential application of the Policyholders Protection Act. It is expected that it will take some weeks before their findings are made available to the Commission but as soon as we have any information we will publish it on our website.

6 August 2001: Letters delivered to Gordon Brown at Downing Street by VINCENT CABLE, the Liberal Democrat Trade and Industry spokesman and PAUL BRAITHWAITE, Chairman of EMAG, asking Chancellor Gordon Brown to explain why the Financial Services Authority has not issued a report on Equitable Life. Click here to see letter.

31 July 2001: Joint letter written to Gordon Brown from EMAG, EPHAG, ELM and Income Drawdown Group. 

19 July 2001 - Equitable Action Groups meet together for the first time as a combined force 

16 July 2001Press release stating that the final bonus for Pension Policies will be reduced by 16% (14%for Life Assurance Policies). The MVA will be reduced to 7.5%. Click here for full press release.

18 June 2001 EMAG AGM. Paul Braithwaite voted in as new Chairman. 

Gordon Brown announces investigation of the life assurance industry.

15 June 2001 Meeting held between Equitable Life, their advisers and action groups regarding the compromise agreement.

25 May 2001 -  Ernst & Young referred to the Joint Disciplinary Scheme over its role as auditor. Also Peter Davis an ex director (and ex head of OffLot) will also be investigated.

23 May 2001 - Vanni Treves and his 6 non exec directors were all voted onto the Board, plus MD Charles Thomson. Although the accounts were questioned and comments were made about payments to Alan Nash, the accounts were accepted and Pricewaterhouse Coopers were voted in as the new auditors. The Mori Poll was presented by Vanni Treves and some of the results are now available on the Equitable Life website.

14 May 2001 - WARREN REPORT IS OUT and can be seen on the Equitable Life website. He says that there is a case for unfairness in selling to non GARs and a number of breaches of regulations by ELAS. It seems that Warren will be retained for further investigations into the non GAR issue.  There would be no possibility of overturning the House of Lords decision though. Warren also state that the non-UK policy holders were 'ring fenced' against the effect of the GAR.  Warren will be retained by EL to look into this. He also states breaches of various Lautro regulations.

30 April - 2000 Accounts available on Equitable Board

26 April - There was a meeting on 26th April between action groups, Equitable Life and their advisers regarding the compromise agreement.

15 April It is announced that Equitable have appointed Herbert Smith, a well respected firm of lawyers to investigate  the possibility of legal action against its former directors and advisers.
12 April
- Vanni Treves appoints 6 non-exec directors. Click here for details. The six are former UK senior partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Peter Smith; former Lord Justice of Appeal Sir Philip Otton; pensions expert and trustee David Adams; former chief executive of insurer Royal London, Michael Pickard; former managing director of AMP Asset Management, Dr Andrew Threadgold, (let go by AMP due to underperformance of the $55 billion AMP Asset Management fund); and former chief executive of Irish Life Jean Wood.

9 April 2001 - Jonathan Dawson resigns as a non-executive director of the Society.

29 March - Treasury Select Committee Report released criticising FSA, auditors and Equitable.

29 March - Peter Nowell appointed as new actuary for EL. He works for Woodrow and Bacon.

27 March - Announcement that Ernst and Young are resigning as auditors

16 March - MVA is put up to 15% from 5% for transferring out of Equitable Life

1 March - Vanni Treves takes up his position as Equitable Life Chairman. Chris Headdon, MD, transfers to the Halifax and his position is taken by Charles Thomson from Scottish Widows.

15 February Meeting of the Treasury Select Committee. Appendices of Meeting

14 February - Vanni Treves is announced as the new Chairman of Equitable. Mr Treves is chairman of Channel 4 and is a senior partner of Macfarlanes the solicitors.

5 February 2001 - Halifax agree to acquire The Equitable's operating assets, salesforce and non-profit and unit-linked business for a payment of up to £1 billion into the with-profits fund. Click here for PDF version of agreement.

4 February 2001 Halifax sign contract with Equitable to buy up the assets of the Society.  

31 January - Halifax in talks to acquire Equitable's fund management business, the sales force and the adminstration. The bank said that it was not looking at any transaction which involves it taking an interest in the Equitable Life £26bn long-term fund.

29 January 2001 - A report in the Financial Times states that AMP has now also pulled out of talks with Equitable. AMP had stated that it was frustrated at Equitable's 'arrogant and unconstructive' attitude.

26 January 2001 - Aegon has lost interest in Equitable, leaving Amp as the only possible purchaser.

20 January 2001 - Rumours that Stuart Bayliss of Annuities Direct is being considered for the next President by headhunters Egon Zehnder.

19 January 2001 The Faculty and Institute of Actuaries (FIA) has appointed past president Roger Corley and two other actuaries to its five-person committee of inquiry into the implications of the Equitable Life closure.
16 January -
The Treasury Select Committee will "examine the regulatory environment and the management of risk in the life assurance sector following the Equitable Life affair". Evidence from Equitable Life and the Financial Services Authority, which is conducting its own inquiry into the Equitable Life disaster, will be heard by the Committee on
February 15. This is a public meeting and can be attended by anyone.

15 January 2001 Mr Richard Ottaway (Croydon South):    To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his Answer of 8th January, Official Report, column 462W, if he will make it his policy to provide compensation to Equitable Life policy holders who acted on the guidance issued by his Department.

January 11 2001 In an interview with the FT, Chris Headdon, the chief executive, said that the problems at Equitable were sad, but not a crisis or a disaster.

9 January 2001 The FSA are rumoured to be looking at offering a one off capped payment to the GAR policy holders.  (See news paper articles Interesting Links)

6 January 2001, it is reported that the FSA are looking for a buyer for Equitable 

There is a rumour in the news 5 January 2001, that the other Pension Funds are looking to help restore confidence in Equitable Life.  

For those of you who listen to Radio 4, you will know there has been a vote for the 'goodie' and the 'baddie' of the year.  Alan Nash, the MD of Equitable Life, who walked off with £200,000 and a pension of over £90,000 a year came THIRD in the list of Villains with 14.7% of the votes. (Chris Woodhead came no 1).


January 1 2001 The OFT says it would investigate a claim that Equitable may have broken the rules when it imposed hefty penalties on customers who cash in their policies early

20 December 2000 Equitable Life have announced that their President, John Sclater, and seven non executive directors will step down. It looks like this will not happen until the AGM in May 2001. 

The government has announced that the FSA will now enquire into Equitable Life.  The announcement was made after a debate held on 19 December 2000. Click here to see the Hansard Text.

December 19 2000 Government compensation to policyholders is ruled out although the FSA will conduct a review of its regulation of Equitable

December 8 2000 Prudential pulls out of talks and Equitable is forced to become a closed fund. MVA is set at 10%. 

July 20 2000 House of Lords announce that Equitable acted illegally and must meet its obligations to its GAR policyholders, and the mutual puts itself up for sale.

January 22 2000
The Appeal Court rule against Equitable and its treatment of GAR policyholders

September 9 1999

The High Court rule that Equitable is entitled to operate its differential terminal bonus policy. 

July 6 1999
Equitable defend the bonus cut on annuities in the High Court arguing that it is in line with industry principle.

January 15 1999
Equitable takes test case to High Court seeking approval on
paying different final bonuses to the Gars and non GARs.

1998 FSA took over from Treasury as regulators

9th September 1998 a meeting was held with EL by E&Y to brief the directors more fully on the issues arising from the situation in relation to GARs.  The maximum exposure was then said by Mr Headdon to the directors to be £1.5 billion.
1998 Treasury took over from DTI as regulators

January 1994: Equitable announces plans to cut the size of the final bonuses paid to its 90,000 GAR policyholders.
1991 Roy Ranson becomes Chief Executive of Equitable

1988 The launch of the Personal Private Pension. Equitable decide to keep the new type pensions in the same fund as the previous Retirement Annuities (GARs)

1981 Roy Ranson becomes appointed actuary of Equitable

1956: Equitable begins selling guaranteed annuity rate policies (GARs) which guarantee investors a minimum annuity rate when they retire, due to change in government legislation.
1913: Equitable Life starts selling pensions.


1762: Equitable Life, the world's oldest mutual insurer, is founded.