Equitable Life Committee hears from German regulator. Sir Robert Atkins MEP

The Committee on Equitable Life questioned the German financial regulator in the European Parliament this week.

The Committee heard evidence from Thomas Steffen, First Director for Insurance Supervision at the German Financial Services regulator (BaFin). BaFin is the single federal financial supervisory authority covering banks, financial service institutions, insurance companies and securities trading.

The Committee has already concluded that there was a noticeable lack of liaison and communication between the Regulatory Authorities of the UK, Ireland and Germany."Steps will have to be taken to remedy this failure as soon as possible," commented Sir Robert Atkins MEP.

Over one million UK policy holders and more than 15,000 policy holders in Ireland and Germany incurred losses to their pensions, savings and investments.

Members were also concerned to learn that one of the witnesses - an Actuary - was unable to be present to give evidence or respond to the Committee's questions."We hope that no pressure was brought to bear upon the witness not to come to the Committee. Members would be very unhappy if that proved to be the case," he said.

The committee also heard evidence from Kurt Schneiter, Member of the Board of the Swiss Federal Office of Private Insurance (FOPI), the insurance regulator for Switzerland. It monitors the business operations of private insurance companies: life insurance, accident insurance, insurance against damage and re-insurance.

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