Saturday, August 23, 2008

Equitable Life

I have had a number of letters from people in Copeland who lost money with the failure of Equitable life.

I am of course replying individually, but in the meantime anyone with an interest in the subject might like to note the following official statement in response to the publication of the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s Report into the regulation of Equitable Life by Shadow Chancellor George Osborne:

“We Conservatives forced the government to allow the Parliamentary Ombudsman to investigate the regulation of Equitable Life and we welcome her report.

“The Ombudsman rightly highlights regulatory failings, including those between 1998 and 2001, when Gordon Brown and the Treasury had responsibility for this area. He cannot escape the blame for what happened on his watch.

“We’re glad that the report accepts the principle that there should be payments to those who lost out. The job now is to assess how much those payments should be and to whom they should be paid.

“We have to be straight with policyholders. As the Ombudsman makes clear, policyholders cannot expect to receive payments for the full losses suffered and any payment scheme must be consistent with sound public finances.

“It is up to the government now to admit its responsibility, issue the apology that the Ombudsman demands and create the payment scheme. If it doesn’t, we will.”

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