Equitable's former chief seeks private hearing on lifetime ban

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The Independent Online

Chris Headdon, the former chief executive of Equitable Life, has applied to exclude the public and media from the trial that will decide whether he is to be banned from working in the City.

Chris Headdon, the former chief executive of Equitable Life, has applied to exclude the public and media from the trial that will decide whether he is to be banned from working in the City.

The Financial Services Authority served the order to strike Mr Headdon off its register in January, with his appeal due to be heard at the Financial Services & Markets Tribunal later this year. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9 June, where the case against Mr Headdon will be laid out, along with his request to keep the trial private.

The FSA said that of the tens of cases that had gone to the tribunal, not one individual who had requested a private hearing had yet been successful.

If Mr Headdon, 47, loses the trial, he will be banned from working in the City or financial services industry ever again. After leaving Equitable in 2001, he joined Hazell Carr, the actuarial consultants, only to be forced to quit in January this year after receiving the FSA's striking off order.

Mr Headdon was one of two former Equitable executives heavily criticised in Lord Penrose's report into the troubled life insurer. The other, Roy Ranson, avoided any disciplinary action, after the FSA decided that at the age of 73, Mr Ranson was unlikely to seek to take up any further position within the industry.

The FSA's case against Mr Headdon centres around allegations that he withheld important documents relating to Equitable's reinsurance arrangements with Irish European Re (now GE ERC).

Equitable Life and GE have both requested to have legal representatives at Mr Headdon's hearing to protect their companies' interests.

Earlier this week, Legal & General made an appearance at the same tribunal, in an appeal against the FSA's decision to fine the society £1.1m for mis-selling mortgage endowment policies.

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