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8 October 2008

Barrett seeks Treasury assurances for Edinburgh victims of Equitable Life

John Barrett, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West, has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling MP to seek his assurances that victims of the collapse of Equitable Life will not be forgotten about in the current economic crises. 

In his letter, Mr Barrett also urged the Government to accept the recent Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s recommendation that ‘wrongs should be remedied’ and asked the Government to set out a credible, transparent and independent process to enter into a dialogue with policy holders over compensation.

John Barrett said:

“I have had many constituents that were affected by the collapse of Equitable Life contact recently to ask for my support to secure compensation.  The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman report was a damning verdict on the regulatory failure of this Government.

“My letter to the Chancellor today was to ask for his assurances that despite the current financial crises, people left out of pocket by the collapse are not forgotten about and are properly compensated.  This is of great importance now more than ever.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman published their report entitled ‘Equitable life, A Decade of Regulatory Failure’ a few months back and concluded that the Government should set up a compensation fund for policyholders. 

The life insurance company came close to collapse in 2000 after being ordered by the High Court to fulfil financial promises which it could not afford.   More than a million policyholders were left with reduced retirement savings.  The Treasury’s official response to the Ombudsman report is expected later in the autumn.

 

Notes

1. A copy of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Report can be seen at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/17_07_08_equitable.pdf

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This website was established while I was a Member of Parliament. The site content is being kept online as a source of information, but all forms / email have been disabled.