Equitable Life Inquiry

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:59 pm on 8th March 2004.

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Photo of Norman Lamb Norman Lamb Shadow Spokesperson (Treasury) 3:59 pm, 8th March 2004

May I declare an interest as a former policyholder? I draw the Minister's attention to the report's key findings, which identify not only a systems failure but a specific failure by regulators operating within the system. Is it not remarkable that she failed to mention that at all in her statement and that she concentrated only on the systems failure? Her statement is a recipe for years of litigation, which will enormously benefit many lawyers but which will be at the expense of all those who have suffered enormous hardship, and will do nothing to address the crisis of confidence in the industry. It is time for a proper process through either the parliamentary ombudsman or a further remit to Lord Penrose to identify the loss resulting from the regulatory failure—not system failure—identified by Lord Penrose, so that compensation can be paid.