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

Documents: 01/09/2009 - Chadwick Press - 22nd August 2009

Chadwick Press - 22nd August 2009

Extract from :

FSA's bite fails to match bark over rising repossessions

"...ANOTHER month, another mountain of drivel for the dwindling army of Equitable Life policyholders to digest. Sir John Chadwick this week published his government commissioned report outlining how the long-suffering victims of the debacle could be compensated.

The 33-page report includes some impressive looking algebraic formulas, presumably constructed to eliminate any chance of even one policyholder getting more compensation than they merit.

Chadwick's proposals encouragingly call for a quick solution to the compensation puzzle, acknowledging the stress suffered by those who lost money in the insurer.

But the notion of his system producing a speedier result will seem laughable to the 1.5 million policyholders who have already waited for the best part of a decade without getting so much as a sniff of compensation."

Scotsman, Jeff Salway 22 August, 2009

Equitable Life Payout Plan Doesn't Add Up.

"A government-appointed judge who is trying to come up with a compensation scheme for those affected by the near-collapse of the insurer Equitable Life is proposing that any help given to victims is based on how much they would have received if they'd invested elsewhere. But Nic Cicutti feels there is a sinister edge to the government's proposal. Do you agree? Sign in to have you say

Sir John Chadwick, a former Appeal Court judge, is tasked with designing a scheme that would give voluntary payments to the “hardest hit” of Equitable's investors. He said that their relative loss would be worked out by studying the potential outcome of policies with similar but alternative pension providers.

On the face of it, this ought to be good news for long-suffering Equitable Life investors, hundreds of thousands of whom have seen their retirement prospects blighted by the insurer's effective collapse in 2000.

The problem is that Sir John Chadwick's report is not a serious attempt by the government to help Equitable policyholders. It is actually a cynical exercise designed to pay out as little as possible, using Sir John as the way to achieve this aim.

To understand this, you have to go back to why the government appointed him. Basically, it was brutally exposed by the Parliamentary Ombudsman Ann Abraham as having been in large measure responsible for what happed at Equitable Life. It was a failure to regulate Equitable effectively that led to the company's fall.

Under normal circumstances, any government is generally bound by parliamentary convention to make good on its failings. In this case, it means handing out compensation to those affected by the insurer's collapse.

Yet in this instance, the government has spent the last eight or nine years desperately trying to avoid having to offer redress to policyholders. Sir John Chadwick's appointment is part of the same process.

Indeed, his interim report does not reach a conclusion about which people could be considered the 'hardest hit' of Equitable's investors and will therefore receive any compensation. It is therefore likely that he will take many more months to reach this stage, possibly years. Meanwhile, up to 15 Equitable policyholders are dying every day before receiving any redress. This is a disgraceful turn of affairs: in effect, the government is hoping to reduce its compensation bill by letting policyholders die.

Regardless of whether any of us are Equitable Life members or not, it is vital that we support them in their campaign for a fair payout. They were failed by the state and are entitled to be compensated for this failure. More important, their fate is linked to ours. If they fail, the next time any group of people are faced with a similar problem, the government of the day will simply point to the previous example of what happened with the Equitable and give them a metaphorical two fingers. It could be you next."

Sky News, by Nic Cicutti - August 20, 2009

Equitable Life payments 'should be made quickly' says report

"Sir John Chadwick, who was appointed by the Government to advise it on the level of payouts that should be made, said he favoured a flexible approach to assessing how much policyholders had lost.

The Parliamentary Ombudsman Ann Abraham had called on the Government to set up an independent tribunal to calculate compensation for policyholders, after finding 10 instances of maladministration by regulators and Whitehall officials in the period leading up to December 2001.

But the Government rejected some of her findings of maladministration and her recommendations for compensation, instead saying it would make ex-gratia payments to policyholders 'disproportionately affected' by the problems at the society.

In an interim report, published today, Sir John Chadwick said he had decided to revise his previous approach to assessing the losses suffered by policyholders after receiving representations from Equitable Life, policyholder action groups and the Government.

His previous proposal had closely reflected the approach recommended by the Parliamentary Ombudsman, but it took into account the fact that the Government had only accepted some of her findings of maladministration.

The limited level of findings accepted by the Government had caused the Equitable Members Action Group to warn that up to 90% people could be excluded from the ex-gratia payments the Government had agreed to make.

But Sir John said today he had decided to adopt a more flexible approach to assessment of losses, which would cover everyone who was a policyholder during the period affected by the maladministration which the Government has accepted.

He said he would measure the loss suffered by these policyholders in terms of looking at the position they would have been in if all of their investment in Equitable had been made in another company.

He added that the main benefit of this approach was that it would enable an assessment of loss to be made quicker and with much less burden on policyholders than other methods might involve."

The Herald - 18 August 2009