Another delay for Equitable complaints

Equitable Life has been forced to apply for a new waiver from the Financial Services Authority, to give it more time to deal with the wave of complaints it has received in the wake of Lord Penrose's report into the troubled insurer, published in March.

Equitable Life has been forced to apply for a new waiver from the Financial Services Authority, to give it more time to deal with the wave of complaints it has received in the wake of Lord Penrose's report into the troubled insurer, published in March.

The move will mean that hundreds of policyholders who complained as far back as March, may now not receive a comprehensive response until as late as October.

Under FSA rules, all regulated companies must provide a response to complaints within eight weeks of receiving them. However, Equitable found itself overwhelmed by complex correspondence from its policyholders after the Penrose report - the most in-depth study to date into the collapse of the society - forcing it to ask the regulator to extend its deadline.

The FSA granted Equitable its first waiver in May, allowing it to simply send out generic acknowledgement letters to all complainants, and to defer its formal responses until July.

However, as the letters continued to flow in, the insurer has remained unable to get to grips with its swelling mailbags, forcing it to obtain an extension for its original waiver.

Equitable policyholders who complained in the wake of Penrose may not receive a response until October. The FSA's new waiver says the Society does not have to make formal responses until after 30 September, at which point it has a further four weeks to ensure all complaints have been dealt with.

A spokesman for Equitable said: "Although the number of complaints relating to Lord Penrose's report is small, we regard it as important to give each one full consideration, and because some complex legal and actuarial issues are raised, that does take time. We are sorry for the delays."

Paul Braithwaite, the general secretary of the Equitable Members' Action Group, said: "Waiver after waiver is granted to Equitable - much to the frustration of policyholders who are pursuing grievances. There is foot-dragging in their responses and usually it is a form letter which does not deal with the details in the complaint."

Last month, the Parliamentary Ombudsman agreed to reopen her inquiry into Equitable in the light of the Penrose report. This now remains the final hope of compensation for the majority of policyholders and annuitants.

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
film
Sport
premier leagueMatch report: Arsenal 1 Man United 2
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Sport
Jonny May scores for England
rugby unionEngland 28 Samoa 9: Wing scores twice to help England record their first win in six
PROMOTED VIDEO
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Reach Volunteering: Trustee – PR& Marketing, Social Care, Commercial skills

    Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Age Concern Slough a...

    Reach Volunteering: Charity Treasurer

    Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Crossroads Care is s...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35,000: SThree: We consistently strive to be ...

    Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CADIS) Developer

    £50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...

    Day In a Page

    US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

    Immigration: Obama's final frontier

    The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
    Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

    Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

    Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
    Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

    You know that headache you’ve got?

    Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
    Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

    Scoot commute

    Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
    Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

    The Paul Robeson story

    How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
    10 best satellite navigation systems

    Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

    Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
    Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

    Paul Scholes column

    England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
    Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

    Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

    Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
    Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

    Frank Warren column

    Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
    Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

    Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

    Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
    Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

    'How do you carry on? You have to...'

    The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
    Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

    Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

    Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

    'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

    Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
    Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

    Sir John Major hits out at theatres

    Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
    Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

    Kicking Barbie's butt

    How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines