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: 28/05/2003 - Appeal at the AGM - Rodney Allen's address

28 May '03 - Rodney Allen's address to the AGM 2003

Fellow Members

There is a great deal I could have said on many topics, but the board has only allotted me three minutes of your valuable time. Therefore, I am just going to deal with one matter.

As we are all too aware, the Society remains in poor straits financially, with unquantifiable claims outstanding. Prospects for any significant recovery in bonus payments are limited. Annuitants in particular face a dismal future with declining income.

There is only one additional source of funds to ameliorate this situation. It is Government compensation for unfortunate omissions and errors by the regulatory authorities. Not probably through legal action where prospects are poor because of legal immunities, but ex gratia. Our pursuit must not be motivated by the desire to affix blame, but the positive one of assuring justice. To be successful we need to generate effective political pressure, ultimately in Parliament.

So far the Society has shown little interest in going down this avenue. It claims it is "waiting for Penrose", despite the fact that must have nearly all the relevant information necessary. EMAG, of which I am a committee member, has been actively following this approach for over a year. It is now time for the board to work constructively with its membership to influence opinion where it counts, bearing in mind that it is they who have significant electoral votes, not the board. We all need to pull together to develop the most effective strategy, regardless of positions previously taken. Undoubtedly, a very strong case can be made that our Society was brought low by the failure of the regulatory bodies to intervene appropriately, with severe financial loss for the majority of members. We can be sympathetic over the reasons for such failures. However, it is the consequences that matter. These must be put right.

We are a mutual society. Let us work mutually together. I ask for your votes only in this expectation and hope. Thank you.