UK - The financial ombudsman has ruled against beleaguered insurer Equitable Life in five "lead cases".
The cases all relate to guaranteed annuity rate policyholders who withdrew from Equitable’s with-profits fund before February 8, 2002, when the compromise scheme came into effect.
A spokesman for Equitable Life said he was “not surprised” by the rulings, all of which would be “studied carefully”.
He confirmed the company had made provision for claims for GAR policyholders and estimated the compensation bill to be between £40m and £70m.
Conservative treasury spokesman Stephen O’Brien applauded the decision.
He said: “It at last represents a glimmer of hope for Equitable policyholders and annuitants.
“Equitable savers deserve justice. The findings of the financial ombudsman provide the first step for them on the ladder to some recovery.”
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