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


21st Jan '03 - Minutes of 26th EMAG committee

Held at: The RAC Clubhouse, London

Present: Committee - Alex Henney, Colin Slater, Paul Braithwaite, Tom Lake, Rodney Allen, Leslie Seymour.
Members: Sir Jeremy Lever, John Newman, Oliver Parsons, Christopher Poulton, Mike Neal
Apologies for absence: Betty McCann, Gabrielle de Pauw

1. Treasurer's Report: Betty McCann was abroad. She had circulated in advance a spreadsheet of all expenditure since the last meeting plus details of all future commitments. This was passed as approved. PB reported that this leaves EMAG with circa £80,000 unfettered.

2. Colin Slater presented Burgess Hodgson's completed and extensive report on forensic accounting analysis prepared from all publicly accessible records for the period 1993 to 2000. He had approached the Independent Actuary Mike Arnold for clarification on the numbers used in his October 2001 report, but co-operation had been denied. The committee agreed to send advance copies to Charles Thomson at the Society (to identify any factual corrections prior to publication) and to the Penrose Inquiry. The report will remain confidential for the moment.

3. Peter Bingle and Paul Montagu-Smith both of Bell-Pottinger Public Affairs - made an informal presentation of the work that they anticipate doing on behalf of EMAG in the coming months. AH and PB to be yhe interface for EMAG. After a comprehensive discussion around the strategic approach they recommended the BPP executives left.

4. AH reported on his study of the three acts governing Insurance/lifecos plus the study of FSA's regulation prepared by Ronnie Baird. These, plus the Burgess Hodgson report, form the basis of EMAG's formal major submission to the Penrose Inquiry now being finalised by AH.

5. RA reported progress of the dialogue with solicitors on the brief he had drafted with the help of JL. He anticipates circulating a quotation to the committee in the near future, prior to proceeding.

6. LS raised the question of how distribution of any compensation would be organised and allocated. It was agreed that EMAG's policy is to seek compensation for all policyholders (present and past) who have suffered financial loss. It was felt that it is not EMAG's prerogative to propose any distribution formula. A base yardstick, which needs to be simple, was suggested to be the Dec 2000 policyholder valuation statements.

7. LS was given budget approval to explore with Brussels lawyers exploring EC legal options. LS is away until Feb 13th.

8. PB reported on plans for the policyholder meeting in Norwich, which EMAG has actively promoted. Also on his having attended in court the strike-out action by Ernst and Young and success in obtaining the legal skeletons, plus witness statements. He also reported on a constructive meeting about common issues and co-operation with the new chairman of EPHAG, Michael Caley.

9. AOB: AH and CS confirmed that they had both exited the ELAS with profits fund but are willing to continue in their roles within EMAG. CS confirmed that he had now discharged his undertaking to donate all personal proceeds resulting from the May mailing with Moorgate House to Cancer Research Ltd.

Next meeting: Small Mall room at the RAC Clubhouse, Pall Mall, London at 6.45pm for 7.00pm on Tuesday 4th March, 2003. Any EMAG member wishing to attend should first contact PB (emagpr@yahoo.com).