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Treasury criticised over ‘unacceptably poor’ Equitable compensation

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The Treasury's handling of Equitable Life policyholders' compensation has been "unacceptable poor" and hindered by "delays and spiralling costs", the Public Accounts Committee will say later.

The Telegraph reports committee chairman Margaret Hodge attacked the Treasury for its “failure to get a grip”. She warned that unless the department “got its act together there was a real risk large numbers of policyholders will miss out”.

Hodge also berated National Savings & Investments, directed by the Treasury to run the compensation scheme, and ATOS, to which NS&I outsourced the work, the report added.

The committee said figures from March this year showed the scheme had paid out £577m to 407,000 people. Hodge said that leaves about 700,000 policyholders still to receive payments worth £370m.

She demanded increased publicity for the scheme – which is due to close in March 2014 – and suggested the government work with policyholders’ lobby group EMAG.

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