The Parliamentary Ombudsman will find the government guilty of failing to properly regulate Equitable Life, according to a draft report for the Treasury and leaked to the Daily Telegraph .
Millions of current and former policyholders may have a claim for compensation after the report is published this year, but critics warn Whitehall may ignore the conclusions of Ann Abraham's report, as it did with her investigation into collapsed pension schemes.
The government is working on a defence for the twice-delayed report into Equitable, which concludes official regulators were guilty of "serious, serial maladministration", according to sources close to the investigation.
The news raises the prospect it may have to pay out compensation - of anything up to £4bn - to those who lost money when Equitable collapsed, says the paper.
The report, which may not be released until as late as June, is expected to rebuke the Financial Services Authority (FSA) for failing to properly monitor Equitable, which was plunged into difficulties after losing a legal battle in the House of Lords over the rights of some of its policyholders, leaving it with a £1.5bn liability.
PRUDENTIAL WILL this week announce the outcome of a long-awaited review of its struggling UK business and risk disappointing shareholders by refining rather than radically overhauling the operation, says the Guardian.
Despite speculation the insurer might sell all or part of its UK business, City analysts now believe the chief executive is settling for a more conservative approach which may fail to appease investors.
Mark Tucker's plans may include outsourcing more UK jobs to India to cut costs.
The announcement of the restructuring, expected on Thursday with 2006 profits, comes after a root and branch review of the UK arm by Tucker and his new recruit Nick Prettejohn, the former chief executive of Lloyd's of London.
SIR TOM Hunter, the Scottish entrepreneur, has teamed up with Bank of Scotland to invest £100m in residential property across the United Kingdom, reports the Times.
Grant Management, an independent property investment company which already manages a £100m property fund for the bank, has been appointed to handle the property, which will be kept in a new fund called Grant Fund Management.
Hunter’s investment vehicle, West Coast Capital, has also taken a 5% stake in Grant Management, worth about £1m.
Peter Grant, who set up Grant Management with his wife ten years ago, said the new fund would invest in big houses in need of renovation, mainly in university cities.
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More than half of people over the age of 55 see financial security as a top priority in retirement, yet a third allocate more time to buying a new car, research from Legal & General (L&G) has found.
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Alongside Barrett, Hopkins, Boston and Thorman on 17 October