An Equitable life?

It has taken years for this government to receive a blistering Report from the Ombudsman making it quite clear there was regulatory failure as well as business error at Equitable Life.

When I was the regulatory Minister for Insurance and much of the City in the days when that post was held in the DTI, I received reports on the failure of Barlow Clowes. As soon as I read them I saw how people had suffered, and did not hesitate to compensate once regulatory failure had been established.

I want this government to do the same in this case. Many MPs have been pressing this cause with the government on behalf of constituents. Now the Ombudsman is so strong and clear, what further excuse could there be for delay?

It also leads one to ask more about the nature and purpose of financial regulation. This government seems to see regulation as a good way of bashing private business. The government is very reluctant to conclude regulation has let people down when things like Equitable Life or Northern Rock happen, yet what is the point of it unless it can prevent such events? And if things do go wrong with regulators, as sometimes they will, why is there so much hesitation or denial, when people want an apology and compensation for the mistakes?

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2 Comments

  1. Bazman
    Posted July 17, 2008 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    The taxpayer should let the next financial disaster burn itself out instead of bailing anyone out big or small. Financial regulation in the City seems to be helping business in City no end John, by letting them do what they like allowing them to take massive risks with other peoples money.
    This is another financial scam like the pensions scandal, Northern Rock and many others from the past.
    Is it wise to put any money in the hands of schemes and schemers that are so complicated that they need regulation?
    All of the regulators and businessmen that run these opaque rackets always get away with any without any financial losses, and often make huge amounts of money without any risk to themselves in the form of commission or wages.
    If anyone would like to invest with me in my new venture in trading pieces of sky in Russia. Send all your cash, credit cards, blank cheques, and small valuable items to:

    Bazman
    A. Yacht
    somwear 1N
    Bermuda.
    H WE W1 T U L05

  2. Financial Services Authority
    Posted July 17, 2008 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    The above scheme is regulated by the British police, the laws of the land and pure stupidity. Investments may go down or lower.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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