§ Mr. Hordern
asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will make a statement about the position of policyholders of Fidelity Life Assurance.
§ Mr. Watkinson
asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he will make a statement about Fidelity Life Assurance Limited.
§ Mr. Shore
, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 7th August 1975; Vol. 897, c. 533], gave the following additional information: On 11th July 1975 my Department informed Fidelity Life that, unless its assets were increased by at least £750,000 without any corresponding increase in its liabilities, I would present a petition for the company to be wound up. That increase in assets was not forthcoming. I therefore presented a petition to the High Court on 28th July in order to ensure that the company's assets were not dissipated on a first come, first served, basis.
The petition was put down for hearing on 6th October. In the meantime the Official Receiver has been appointed as provisional liquidator. The conduct of the company's affairs is now therefore his responsibility subject to the supervision of the High Court. He is very 149W conscious of the present uncertainties for policyholders and hopes to be able to communicate with them soon to clarify their position.
If the Policyholders Protection Bill is enacted in its present form Fidelity Life's United Kingdom policyholders will in due course receive at least 90 per cent. of their claims, subject to a reduction for any over generous benefits.