Pensions and ageing populations are of great concern to countries all over Europe and the near collapse of Equitable Life in 2000 did not just hit the headlines in the UK. Although Equitable Life is not technically insolvent more that 1.3 million policy holders saw a major reduction in the returns they had expected on their investment, leaving many uncertain about financial security in retirement.
On the 19 June the European Parliament voted massively in favour of a report, written by Diana Wallis, MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber. The report stated that although the situation was due to Equitable Life's mismanagement, the British government should take responsibility for the affair because of its failure to comply with EU insurance law, and compensate the victims accordingly.
Some policy holders from outside the UK found themselves even more disadvantaged, as they were unable to apply for compensation. With these difficulties in mind the report also focused on improvements such as building consumer confidence in the European pensions and insurance market, and put forward proposals on the form of EU financial services legislation, rights of consumers who buy products in countries other than their own and the role of the European Parliament and Commission in monitoring the implementation of legislation in Member States.