Victims of one of Britain’s biggest financial scandals are set to receive hundreds of millions of pounds in compensation.
In its heyday, Equitable Life had 1.5m policy holders but when it came close to collapse in 2000, a million people lost up to half their life savings.
Almost two decades later, customers of Equitable Life are finally expected to receive several thousand pounds each.
Victims have spent eighteen years campaigning for justice, with some dying before they received any money back.
It’s understood that Equitable Life will now release cash to 300,000 customers whose policies are worth an estimated £15,000 on average.
Although the compensation will come as a relief to some, many are likely to feel that it falls short of the amount they are truly owed.
The insurance firm had promised ‘guaranteed’ payouts to customers through investment-linked annuities but when it came into financial difficulties it was unable to afford the promised returns.
As a result, policyholders experienced drastic cuts to the value of their pensions while the firm struggled to stay solvent.
According to an official inquiry, the Government misled the public by giving them a ‘wholly misleading picture’ regarding the safety of their investments.
Meanwhile, financial watchdogs were accused of failing to warn investors that Equitable Life had been having difficulties for a number of years.
A spokesperson for the insurance firm said: “We are determined to distribute greater amounts of capital to policyholders, and we are hopeful of being able to give them some good news in the spring.”