Ten years on, work begins on Equitable Life compensation

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The Independent Online

After a disturbing post-election silence, the coalition Government has said that it is to move further towards compensating savers in Equitable Life.

The mutual life company came to the brink of collapse in 2000 when it could not fund promises made to investors. As a result, policyholders saw the value of their holdings fall dramatically and sued the government. The parliamentary ombudsman has come out in favour of the equitable policyholders and said it was the duty of the Government to pay compensation. However, next to nothing has been done over the past couple of years, a situation Mark Hoban MP (left), the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, wants to remedy.

Mr Hoban introduced a bill to Parliament last week to start the process of compensation. An independent commission is to be set up which, says Mr Hoban, "will start work imminently so that we can begin making payments as soon as possible." It is expected to report by the end of January 2011. Any further delay will mean that some policyholders will die before compensation can be paid.

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