AEGON UK Statement in Response to Today's FSA Notice Regarding Scottish Equitable plc

Dec 16, 2010, 06:10 ET from AEGON UK

EDINBURGH, Scotland, December 16, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The FSA has today issued notice of a fine of GBP 2.8 million to Scottish Equitable plc, due to systems and controls failings, some of which have led to customer detriment. Scottish Equitable plc is the legal name for AEGON's UK life and pensions business, which now trades under the AEGON brand.

AEGON brought the programme to the FSA's attention last year as part of its ongoing dialogue with the regulator. It fully accepts the FSA's findings and sincerely regrets that some customers have suffered financial loss or inconvenience as a result. In May 2009, AEGON began to implement a programme to identify and correct historical issues within its customer policy records.

The immediate priority of the programme has been to deal with issues that resulted in financial detriment and to return affected customers, wherever possible, to the financial position they would have been in had the issue not occurred and, if not, to pay them appropriate compensation. Over GBP 30 million in customer redress has already been repaid. AEGON UK has reserved GBP 60 million for redress purposes, however, the programme of determining the full scope of redress continues.

AEGON is on target to resolve all five of the issues specifically examined by the FSA by the end of April 2011 and expects the bulk of the remainder of the programme to be completed by the end of 2011.

AEGON has co-operated fully with the FSA in its investigation. Moreover, AEGON is committed to resolve all related issues, and has now put in place stronger, more stringent controls to prevent similar issues occurring in the future.

AEGON sincerely regrets that some customers have suffered financial detriment or inconvenience. Its redress programme aims to resolve all the issues as quickly as possible and is a top priority for the firm.

Notes to Editors

- AEGON acquired Scottish Equitable in 1994. It was rebranded to AEGON in 2009. Scottish Equitable plc remains the legal name for the life and pensions company.

- On 22 June, AEGON announced plans to restructure and refocus its UK business, reducing operating costs by 25% by end 2011. Neither the redress programme nor the FSA fine will impact AEGON's restructure and plans.

- In the UK AEGON offers pensions, life insurance, asset management and financial advice to around two million customers. AEGON UK has assets under administration of GBP55.9 billion and employs approximately 4,000 staff in its life and pensions business, of which 2,400 are based in Edinburgh.

- As an international life insurance, pension and investment company based in The Hague, AEGON has approximately 28 thousand employees world wide and 40 million customers in the Americas, Europe and Asia. AEGON's revenue generating investments totalled EUR 405 billion at 30 September 2010.

    For further information:

    Lesley McPherson - +44(0)131-549-3782/+44(0)7740-897541
    Margaret Robertson - +44(0)131-549-6798/+44(0)7740-897527
    Mark Locke - +44(0)131-549-3766/+44(0)7740-897986