BusinessCompany NewsEquitable report may not appear in full

Equitable report may not appear in full

Chief Treasury secretary Paul Boateng has warned the government may not be able to publish the Penrose report on Equitable Life in full when they receive it.

Link: City watchdog cleared over Equitable

He said in the Commons their intention is to do so ‘if at all possible’ but said parts may be subject to ‘legal and commercial confidentiality restrictions’.

Replying to a question in the Commons, he said it was a criminal offence for confidential information received by regulators in the course of their duties to be disclosed to a third party except in narrowly specified conditions.

Lord Penrose has already warned he will be unable to complete his work and submit his report to the government in time for publication before Parliament shuts for MPs’ summer holidays next week [17 July].

MPs are expected to react with fury unless the report is published substantially complete – since the government could have constituted the inquiry in a form that could have published its findings in full had it chosen to do so.

The warning that the report may have to be censored follows the decision of the Ombudsman to dismiss claims of maladministration over Equitable against the Financial Services Authority and effectively rule out state compensation for failure to warn those who continued to invest after the authorities knew of Equitable’s difficulties.

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