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

Media Stories: 11/05/2005 - Equitable probe to cover investors in EU

Equitable probe to cover investors in EU

Financial Times: By Robert Budden
Published: May 11 2005


Equitable Life policyholders who bought in Germany, Ireland and other EU states will be covered in the parliamentary ombudsman's investigation into possible regulatory failings by the life assurer, it has been confirmed this week.

The development means that more than 15,000 non-UK investors who bought policies from Equitable Life will be eligible for financial compensation if the ombudsman finds evidence of government maladministration at the life assurer prior to December 2001. Previously the ombudsman had indicated that Equitable's international policyholders could fall outside its remit.

The parliamentary ombudsman carries out independent investigations into complaints about UK government departments and their agencies. It is currently investigating whether there is evidence of maladministration by former regulators of Equitable, potentially going back as far as 1982. Bodies that are being investigated by the ombudsman include the Department of Trade and Industry, the Treasury and the Financial Services Authority (prior to December 2001 only).

Equitable policyholder action groups yesterday welcomed the confirmation from the parliamentary ombudsman that overseas investors would be covered by its investigation.

"It's a very encouraging sign that the British government recognises that it is part of Europe and that it is part of the European regulatory regime," said Paul Braithwaite of the Equitable Members' Action Group.

The parliamentary ombudsman previously indicated it would publish its findings by December.