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

Correspondence: 26/08/2003 - Email to the FSA's chief executive, John Tiner, 10.00am

26 August' 03 - Email to the FSA's chief executive, John Tiner, 10.00am

Dear Mr Tiner,

You may have read in the press that EMAG is preparing a claim to court to seek a Judicial Review of the report of the Parliamentary Ombudsman.

It must be lodged by September 30th. In consequence EMAG and its legal advisers are busy, against the clock, evaluating the evidence. The report makes repeated references to an internal Service Level Agreement (SLA) in assessing whether there was regulatory failure. Previous to the publication of the report, policyholders were not aware that there was such an internal protocol.

EMAG seeks to obtain a copy. To that end Alex Henney first asked your employee Stephen Walton for it on August 13th. Subsequently I sent Mr Walton four follow-up emails. The answer has been that Mr Walton does not know if the FSA can make the SLA available to us. This was re-stated on August 23rd.

It does seem bizarre that whether regulatory failure has happened is assessed by reference to an internal protocol that has never been seen outside the regulator, its masters and suppliers.

As Stephen Walton is now away I am writing to you in the hope that you will kindly intervene and authorise release of said protocol such that it can be considered in our legal machinations.

EMAG notes with interest that the parallel protocol in the energy industry is freely available to consumers on the regulator's website.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Braithwaite