MEPs have endorsed the interim report of the Committee of Inquiry into the crisis of the Equitable Life Assurance Society, which asked for its one-year mandate to be extended by three months.
The EU Committee was established in January to investigate the way in which UK regulatory authorities applied relevant European Council directives and assess allegations they “consistently failed to protect policy holders” by not supervising accounting and provisioning practices at the provider as well as its financial situation.
Its interim report published by Liberal Democrat MEP Diana Wallis, a member of the 22 member investigating committee, asked for more time because the UK Parliamentary Ombudsman report into the same issue is not due to be published until November.
Anne Abrahams, the Parliamentary Ombudsman, who is carrying out her own separate investigation into 18 accusations of regulatory failure, warned in February her report would not be published until at least October.
The Committee has so far heard evidence from British, Irish and German policyholders' representatives, the ceo of Equitable Life and the UK and Irish regulatory bodies.
It has issued invitations to future hearings to Des Browe, the former financial secretary to the Treasury, David Strachan, head of the insurance division at the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and Chris Daykin, head of the government actuary's department.
The Committee has stated it also wants to speak to John McFall, chairman of the UK Parliamentary Treasury Select Committee, Walter Merricks, chief ombudsman at the Financial Ombudsman Service, Anne Abrahams, the Parliamentary Ombudsman, and Stephen Hadrill, secretary-general at the Association of British Insurers.
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