Skip to main content

Equitable Life Assurance Society: Compensation

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 9 September 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the oral answer of 21 July 2009, Official Report, column 756, on Equitable Life, what further consideration has been given to introducing interim emergency payments on compassionate grounds to Equitable Life policyholders; and what recent discussions his Department has had with Sir John Chadwick on this matter. (290744)

Sir John is making good progress with his work. The Government regularly discuss this with him and provides updates to the House and the public accordingly.

Both Sir John and Government recognise the need to reach a conclusion on this matter with expedition, while balancing speed against the need to come to the right conclusions that deliver justice to policyholders based upon the findings of the Ombudsman's report that the Government have accepted.

At this stage, no decisions can be taken upon the nature of ex gratia payments. In the meantime, the Government await the presentation of Sir John's advice, to which it will of course give due consideration and respond accordingly as to the nature of the ex gratia payments scheme.

I can confirm that we have drawn to Sir John Chadwick's attention your interest in making interim payments and, as I have already said, the need to reach a conclusion on the matter of Equitable Life as soon as possible is recognised.