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Why did it take so long to sort out Equitable Life compensation?

Yesterday's news that the UK government is on the verge of announcing a £1.5 billion compensation package for those who lost money in the Equitable Life collapse has taken 13 years to come through. It is believed that £1 billion will be made available immediately with a further £500 million put aside to cover those who lost money on with-profits investment. But why has it taken 13 years for this compensation package to be confirmed?

It seems that a mixture of "passing the buck" and a reluctance to actually acknowledge blame on behalf of the government, Equitable Life directors and the FSA has led to the major delay in compensation payments. The very fact that Equitable Life victims have been dying at a rate of 15 a day for some time now further compounds the tortoise like speed at which the authorities have been moving.

However, finally we should see this issue put to bed this week although the UK government is likely to maximise any PR from the agreement. How long it will take Equitable Life victims to receive their money remains to be seen because these things never tend to happen overnight.

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