Why has it taken 10 years to address the Equitable Life collapse?
It is difficult to appreciate how it has taken the UK government 10 years to come anywhere near answering compensation claims for the Equitable Life debacle back in 2000. Equitable Life was literally on the verge of collapse due to a number of retirement guarantees offered to customers which came back to bring the company to its knees. The company lost a high-profile court case which effectively forced the breakup Equitable Life and a nightmare scenario for many customers.
The new coalition government has recently indicated a potential compensation payment of around £500 million although this is only a fraction of that expected by campaigners on behalf of those who lost out. While the current UK government was obviously not involved in the Equitable Life debacle it has been left to carry the can and many experts are deeply disappointed about the potential compensation figure being mentioned. However, this does not answer the question as to why it has taken nearly 10 years for the issue to be addressed - although the final ruling will not come into play until late in 2010/early 2011.
Aside from problems relating to the Equitable Life collapse we must ensure we do not see a repeat of the situation in the future.
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