UK - The resignation of Equitable Life's chief finance and investments officer Charles Bellringer has prompted a call for the beleaguered mutual to be sold off.
The firm has already warned that despite cutting payments to its 50,000 with-profits annuitants by up to 30%, it may fail the Financial Services Authority’s minimum solvency test.
Equitable also revealed that it may have to default on payments to its bond holders, who are owed £300m, as its free reserves have fallen from £1.1bn to just £400m.
Hargreaves Lansdown pensions research manager Tom McPhail believes Bellringer’s resignation – coupled with the earlier announcements – makes a closing down sale the best option for policyholders.
McPhail said: “The continued debilitating erosion of policyholders’ investments is not in anybody’s interests. “They have suffered enough already and it is quite clear that going forward, the downside risks considerably exceed any upside potential.
“It wouldn’t be rocket science to retain a completely independent actuary to calculate the total liabilities on the fund and then split up the assets appropriately to the policyholders.
“The whole of Equitable should be sold lock, stock and barrel including the buildings they occupy.”
Ex-BHS owner Dominic Chappell has been ordered to pay a total of £87,000 in fines and court costs after he was found guilty of failing to provide The Pensions Regulator (TPR) with information.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has said it while believes in the benefits of consolidating defined benefit (DB) schemes, there are significant issues to overcome.
There is just one week left to register to enter the Workplace Savings and Benefits Awards 2018.
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