Current and former Equitable Life policyholders have filed a formal complaint with the European Commission, which they hope will force the UK government to pay compensation.
A statement issued by London-based Class Law Solicitors - legal representatives of the policyholders - says the complaint has been made because UK financial services regulatory authorities, and as a result, the UK government, failed to "properly regulate the activities of Equitable Life Assurance Society" and are therefore in breach of European insurance directives.
In particular, Class Law argues the government is in breach of these directives because it failed to implement a proper regulatory system, where the regulators are found to have failed UK policyholders.
Moreover, Class Law complains the statement delivered by Ruth Kelly on Monday in the House of Commons amounts to an admission of liability for both the regulator’s role and that of the government.
Stephen Alexander, partner at Class Law, says the complaint made is supported by a petition to MEPs requesting they support action being taken by the European Commission against the UK Government in the European Court of Justice.
If the action is successful, it could enable policyholders and former policyholders to "sue" or obtain compensation from the British government.
"This process enables all those who have lost money to have their grievances against the Regulator and UK Government investigated independently and should, if proven, result in compensation for the losses suffered being paid by the government. It is important that those affected write to their MEP to express their support for the complaint."IFAonline
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