The European Parliament's committee of inquiry into the collapse of Equitable Life has unveiled the first draft of its final report.
Liberal Democrat MEP Diana Wallis, Rapporteur for the Committee and author of the report, produced the document at a committee meeting yesterday to allow members to submit changes ahead of the next gathering on 11 April, when the report will be discussed in public.
The inquiry has been considering whether EU insurance legislation was correctly implemented in Britain and what recommendations can be made for the future following the collapse of Equitable Life in 2000.
It has heard evidence from a variety of stakeholders over the last year and will complete its work before Parliament's summer recess, after being granted a series of extensions in an attempt to include the findings of the UK Parliamentary Ombudsman’s reports in the final document.
Originally the Committee, chaired by Irish MEP Mairead McGuinness, was meant to deliver their report in January, however in June last it asked for a three-month extension to allow it to take into account the findings of the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s report which had at that time been delayed until at least October.
As a result, the EU Committee was given permission to delay their report until April, but in October last year Ann Abrahams, the Parliamentary Ombudsman, again delayed her report until May 2007, stating her team had uncovered evidence which had not originally been disclosed to the investigation.
This would have meant the EU Committee would have reported their findings first, however, now the European Parliament has allowed another extension the Committee has until July to publish their findings, although with the first draft already completed it is unlikely Abrahams conclusions - which are rumoured to blame the Financial Services Authority (FSA) for the collapse - will have a bearing on the outcome.
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