UK - Plans by Equitable Life to compensate 16,000 victims of mis-sold guaranteed annuity rate policies have been branded "derisory" by a claimants' action group.
Equitable sent out letters to the 16,000 “late joiners” – people who were sold a policy by the society after September 1998, when the insurer already knew it faced a potentially huge bill for pension liabilities.
The letter said it would offer them up to 5% of policy value, provided the claimant agreed not to sue.
But the Equitable Late Joiners Group warned potential claimants not to sign the letter without consulting a lawyer.
The group said Equitable was trying to kill off potential allegations of corruption before the Treasury-sponsored Lord Penrose report into the policies was released later this year.
“This has got to be the fastest rectification scheme in Equitable’s history,” ELJAG chairman Neil Britten said.
“One has to ask why they are so keen to get those waivers of legal rights in so quickly, before Lord Penrose reports.”
Britten also slammed the 5% compensatory measure as “derisory”, adding members of ELJAG had already managed to claim the full amount.
A spokesman for Equitable denied any ulterior motives and said members who joined before 1998 had already agreed to similar 5% compromise agreements.
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