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: 26/06/2008 - Equitable Life compensation campaign goes regional

Press release - for immediate use 26 June 2008

Equitable Life compensation campaign goes regional

Campaigning group EMAG is calling on more than one million people who were robbed of part of their pensions and savings in Equitable Life, to join in a new campaign to get compensation from the Government.

EMAG (Equitable Members Action Group) is setting up a network of regional action groups in anticipation that the Parliamentary Ombudsman may recommend compensation when her report is finally published in mid-July. Victims of the Equitable Life scandal lost billions from their pensions and savings and last year the European Parliament called, by an overwhelming majority, on the UK Government to pay up.

"The Parliamentary Ombudsman is widely expected to call on the Government to compensate us for the appalling failures in regulation by a succession of regulators,” said Paul Braithwaite of EMAG. "We believe that the case for compensation is overwhelming. Regulators who were supposed to protect policyholders have failed us again and again. They were either asleep at the wheel or complicit in covering up the dire state of Equitable's finances for more than a decade."

More than one million people in the UK have been affected by the scandal, losing anything up to 50% of their retirement income or savings as a direct result of the scandal.

"After a lifetime of hard work, some people have had to sell their homes to survive. I’ve heard many heartbreaking stories of the effect it has had on the hopes and dreams of the victims," said Braithwaite. "Just a few hundred votes in marginal constituencies could turn the tide and force the Government to finally do the decent thing."

One couple, who asked not to be named, said that they had trusted Equitable with their pension because it appeared to have such a good reputation: "How wrong we were. My wife and I are both in our early 80's now and we feel bitter about the whole debacle. Many of the dreams we had are no longer affordable, the holidays we planned are no longer possible. I am subject to anxiety and fearful we shall not be able to pay bills with increased living costs in our retirement combined with such an enormous reduction in our pension."

Braithwaite added that many victims of the scandal have died waiting for justice as the Government has repeatedly kicked the issue into the long grass. "Based on the evidence that has come to light, we expect the Parliamentary Ombudsman to find massive maladministration by Government departments," said Braithwaite "and we expect Gordon Brown to fight tooth and nail to avoid paying out a penny in compensation."

EMAG has set up 20 regional groups to launch the campaign with the possibility to extend the network later, if necessary. The first 20 groups include Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Manchester, Leeds, Norwich, Plymouth, and Edinburgh. The regional web sites include information on local campaign action and detailed advice on how to contact local MPs and their rival candidates.

Braithwaite said: “After seven frustrating years of waiting, we’re taking this campaign to the grass roots so that MPs can see just how aggrieved their constituents are at this gross injustice.”

Victims of the Equitable scandal can find details of their local group at www.emagregional.org.uk

Note: The campaign website is now live and already on Google.
Search for “EMAG Regional” or go direct to