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Nation Life Insurance Company

Volume 885: debated on Monday 27 January 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade what plans he has to support any financial rescue of the guaranteed income bond policyholders in the Nation Life Insurance Company, many of whom are elderly retired persons, in view of the liquidator's statement of 20th January that rescue attempts by the insurance companies' consortium could not proceed.

We do not have powers to make payments to support any rescue in this case. The liquidator has reported that the company has very substantial assets which will be available against the claims of creditors, of whom policyholders are by far the most significant. He has already realised assets to the value of over £5 million and he expects this total to rise to over 11 million shortly. Ultimately he expects that the remaining assets of the company will produce a further substantial amount. He has also said that he will be in a position to seek instructions from the court within the next few weeks on the basis which should be used to calculate individual claims. The committee of inspection appointed to act with the liquidator has agreed that he should proceed to wind up the company's affairs with all despatch and to make an interim payment to creditors as soon as he is legally in a position to do so. While the liquidator must, as an officer of the court, act within its directions, my Department is giving him all the assistance it properly can.