What the papers say: No winners in the Equitable debacle

Mudslinging is not an attractive sport, much less when it involves innocent victims.

The failure last week of Equitable's £700m legal claim against former auditor Ernst & Young and the subsequent mudslinging disgraced both parties, disgusted media commentators and 'shattered the dreams' (Scotsman, 23 September) of policyholders.

Reporting of the 'biggest climbdown in UK legal history' (icWales, 23 September) focused on whether Equitable chairman Vanni Treves and CEO Charles Thomson should resign, with sympathy from some quarters: 'Treves must stay, despite the climbdown' (thisismoney.co.uk, 25 September). But Treves'
apparent intransigence – 'I don't think "apologise" is a word I'd use' (Scotsman, 23 September) – did little to reconcile policyholders.
The real opprobrium was reserved for E&Y's gleeful response to the failed legal action. 'The crass insensitivity of E&Y brought shame to the entire financial community' (Scotland on Sunday, 25 September).
With both parties covered in mud but legally in the clear, the media rued how it was possible that 'all the culprits have wriggled away virtually scot-free' (thisismoney.co.uk, 25 September).

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow. www.echoresearch.com www.newsnow.co.uk

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