EMAG

The independent action group for current and ex Equitable Life policyholders, funded by contributions.

Equitable Members Action Group

Equitable Members Action Group Limited, a company limited by guarantee, number 5471535 registered in the UK

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Documents: 30/05/2004 - A statement by EMAG's outgoing chairman Alex Henney
A statement by EMAG's outgoing chairman Alex Henney:

"It is now two years since I took on the unpaid and very time-consuming chairmanship of the EMAG committee. Over the two years, thanks in significant part to the efforts of EMAG in commencing a judicial review to put aside the unsatisfactory report of the Parliamentary Ombudsman on the Regulation of Equitable and to increasing press activity and political lobbying, there has been a major improvement in the chances of recovering for Equitable Life policyholders public compensation for failure by the government as regulator to do what it should have done to protect those policyholders.

Initially Equitable Life passively accepted the Parliamentary Ombudsman's ruling. Latterly, Equitable Life has recognised the strength of the case for the PO to conduct a comprehensive study as a viable route to government compensation. I think that I can claim some credit, as chairman of the EMAG committee, for (with my colleagues) galvanising Equitable Life into the change in its position. However, galvanisation involves the application of an electrical charge and unfortunately the process has resulted in the Society's unwillingness to view objectively either the value of EMAG or the initiatives that EMAG has always sought to take in the interest of policyholders.

I am strongly of the view that EMAG is a valuable resource for policyholders. However, it can best make its contribution if Equitable Life is willing to recognise EMAG's complementary role. I have concluded that there may be a better prospect of that happening with a new chairman of EMAG. I accordingly tendered my resignation to the committee of EMAG and, as they have been kind enough to say, with regret they have accepted it. However, at their request, I have agreed to remain a member of the committee and remain dedicated to the realisation of EMAG's objective of promoting the interests of the long suffering and grievously wronged policyholders of Equitable Life.

My deputy, Colin Slater, has done immensely valuable work both in connection with Lord Penrose's inquiry and in connection with a prospective re-opening by the Parliamentary Ombudsman of her inquiry into maladministration that contributed to the collapse of Equitable Life. I am therefore very pleased that he has agreed to take on responsibility.

Alex Henney