Watchdog must flex its muscles to intervene in private equity takeover of LV, experts urge

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Experts have urged that the city watchdog should use its powers to intervene in the controversial takeover of LV.

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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) should ‘comprehensively’ its powers to examine whether the mutual insurer’s proposed sale to US private equity Shark Bain Capital is in the best interest of customers, critics of the deal claimed.

As reaction to the deal between the historic life insurer and Bain grows, FCA faces its first significant test under new leadership.

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Inquiry call: Financial Conduct Authority should ‘comprehensive interpretation’ of its powers to examine whether sale of LV to Bain Capital is in best interest of customers, critics claim

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Nikhil Rathi, who took over the reins of Sentinel earlier this year, has promised that under his leadership the FCA will be more courageous and more ‘proactive’ in the event of potential harm to consumers.

But so far the regulator has refused to act on the ban deal. It has claimed that it can only look at the deal that LV has placed before it, and assess whether consumers are treated fairly.

FCA said it has not been able to take a comprehensive view and consider whether other options on the table for LV – including a rival bid from partner mutual Royal London – might be a better fit for members.

But Tory MP Kevin Hollinrek, a prominent campaigner on fairness in financial services, said: ‘They should see if LV’s board is making this deal for members, as there are doubts that their own interests are taken into account. ‘

And the former pensions minister, Baroness Altman, said the matter ‘deserves a proper investigation’ and added that ‘it could harm 1.2m subscribers’.

LV. raise your voice

We are encouraging LV members, customers, or others who wish to retain their reciprocal position to write it, rather than having it purchased by private equity.

You can use words from the letter printed in the City page of the Granthshala newspaper (pictured here).

We’ve included words for you to copy and paste in one letter below.

Send this to Alan Cook, LV= President, Liverpool Victoria, County Gates, Bournemouth, BH1 2NF

Dear Alan Cook,

I, the undersigned, urge you to reconsider your decision to sell LV= to Bain Capital and instead retain its reciprocal position.

,

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