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

Press Releases: 21/08/2007 - EMAG calls on the Treasury to respond to the EU Parliament's demand for compensation.

Press Release: EMAG calls on the Treasury to respond to the EU Parliament’s demand for compensation for Equitable sufferers and improved regulation.

21 August 2007

The leading Equitable Life action group EMAG (Equitable Members’ Action Group) is calling on the Chancellor to respond to the European Parliament’s recommendation to compensate the victims of the Equitable Life scandal.

Two months ago the full EU Parliament adopted the EQUI report, which called for compensation and regulatory changes by an overwhelming 605 votes by MEPs in favour to just 11 against - yet the Treasury has refused to comment, saying it is waiting for the much-delayed PO Inquiry report, but that is not now expected to be published this year.

In a letter today to Alistair Darling, EMAG calls for an immediate comprehensive response to the EQUI report and accuses the UK Government of ‘breathtaking contempt’ for the European Parliament.

“The Treasury has cynically stalled the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s report three times now and using the delay and obfuscation it causes to avoid responding to the European Parliament’s calls for compensation of Equitable victims.”
said Paul Braithwaite of EMAG.

EMAG points out that the Ombudsman brief has only minimal overlap with that of the EQUI report and claims the PO has no remit with regard to European Law or regulation of the single European market, which are the central subjects of the 47 recommendations made by EQUI.

MEP Diana Wallis, Rapporteur of the EQUI Inquiry, comments:

“I am very disappointed that the UK Government has so far chosen to ignore the substantial European Parliament report. This in stark contrast to the European Commission, which has reacted positively, even to criticism and is preparing practical follow up measures. The British Government has much to answer for to the victims of the Equitable collapse and it is shameful that it seems unable either to respond or act. We will not go away; the European Parliament will want to see clear answers to its findings.”

Diana Wallis, along with Lib-Dem Shadow Chancellor Dr Vince Cable MP joined Paul Braithwaite to deliver EMAG’s letter to the Treasury today, which calls on the Government to stop prevaricating and publish a response to EQUI.

21st August, 2007

Attached: EMAG letter to Rt Hon Alistair Darling

EXCLUSIVE Photos of today’s event with Paul Braithwaite, Diana Wallis MEP and Dr Vincent Cable MP delivering the protest letter to the Treasury, available on request.

Paul Braithwaite 07973 537 480
Diana Wallis: 07932 020 239

Notes for Editors:

Kitty Ussher, the new Economic Secretary to the Treasury has declined EMAG’s repeated requests for a meeting.

EQUI report recommendation 10 (verbatim):

“In view of the UK Government’s failure to comply with the Third Life Directive and given the absence either of accessible legal redress through the courts or other effective alternative means of redress, the committee firmly believes that the UK Government is under an obligation to assume responsibility. The committee therefore strongly recommends that the UK Government devise and implement an appropriate scheme with a view to compensating Equitable Life policyholders within the UK, Ireland, Germany and elsewhere.”

EMAG notes that this is a replay of six years ago when Dr Cable and I delivered a letter on behalf of Equitable sufferers to the then Chancellor, Gordon Brown, who has so successfully kept us on the back burner whilst immeasurable damage has been done to the reputations of the regulators and the financial service industry. Maybe just maybe, the new Chancellor will stop the shenanigans and act on the findings of the European Parliament’s EQUI report.