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Colin to battle on in Equitable Life fight

A SOLIHULL man is vowing to continue his fight to get justice for himself and hundreds of thousands of people affected by the Equitable Life debacle.

A SOLIHULL man is vowing to continue his fight to get justice for himself and hundreds of thousands of people affected by the Equitable Life debacle.

Colin Downes, 56, from Shirley, was among more than one million policyholders who were affected following the near collapse of the pensions and retirement savings company.

He is part of the Equitable Members Action Group (Emag), which represents about 21,000 people, who have fought a bitter legal battle for nine years.

The group wants the Government to pay compensation to all those affected, and despite a recent recommendation from the parliamentary ombudsman that they should, this has not yet happened.

“The Government knew that Equitable Life was insolvent, but as the regulators were looking at it everyone thought that it was still rock solid - little did we all know at the time that this was going to happen,” said Colin, who has been actively involved with Emag for one-and-a-half years.

Colin lost about £30,000 following the announcement by Equitable in 2000 that they were facing difficulties and were unable to pay out bonuses previously promised. He had transferred his pension to the company only a few years previously.

“A lot of people who suffered are embarrassed and so keep quiet - they were sure their money was safe,” added Colin.

“All those people did the right thing in trying to put money away and save for their futures, instead of becoming a drain on the system, and this is what they get.”

Last week Colin joined 400 protesters (the number would have been more but was limited by police) outside the Houses of Parliament. The campaigners carried 15 coffins to represent the estimated number of people who die each day waiting for compensation.

 

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