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What Is Happening With Equitable Life?

Those poor souls who were customers of Equitable Life before its collapse in 2000 may be in for a surprise compensation bonus from the government after a parliamentary report heavily criticised the role of Treasury Actuaries, Equitable Life management and the Regulator. So what happened?

Between 1950 and 1988 Equitable Life was heavily involved in what is known as the guaranteed annuity rates market, a type of investment which promised generous rates of income in return for depositing money with the group. As we moved into the 1980s and the investment markets became more and more difficult it was clear that these rates were not realistic. Equitable Life tried a number of ways to wriggle out of the guarantees, even taking their case to the House of Lords, but ultimately they all ended in defeat.

Faced with mounting pressure from investors and a reputation which was now in tatters, the group put itself up for sale and affectively forced guaranteed annuity bond holders to accept a compromise payment in return for removing the guaranteed return pledge. It now seems as though the authorities were guilty of maladministration and investors should be in line for substantial compensation payments.

Figures of around £4 billion have been mentioned!

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