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UK government criticised over Equitable Life

The UK government has come under fierce criticism with regards to the Equitable Life saga which the High Court now believes was the subject of inadequate regulatory oversight for more than 10 years. Equitable Life was forced to close its doors to new business back in 2000 after it was revealed that the company was unable to pay out on guaranteed annuities which had been written many years before.

Despite instigating a report by the Parliamentary Ombudsman, the UK government on the whole ignored the findings of this report which suggested that the government had been guilty of maladministration on more than 10 occasions and should in fact have seen the situation emerging. Despite the report coming from within Parliament, the UK government only recognise five of these findings and rejected calls for full scale compensation for those who lost out.

This new ruling by the High Court could see more Equitable Life customers stepping forward for compensation which many believe is long overdue. However, the High Court also confirmed that the UK government was perfectly legal in deciding to only compensate those who lost significant funds rather than a full scale compensation for all involved. This is an issue which will not go away and one which is proving very embarrassing for the UK government.

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