AXA Challenged on Funds Distribution

November 2, 2000

The ongoing dispute between France’s AXA and its British policyholders took a new turn when a High Court judge upheld a consumer group’s right to challenge AXA’s proposed distribution of a portion of its “Orphan Assets, ” some £1.7 billion ($2.47 billion) in unclaimed life policy benefits and surplus profits.

A majority of AXA subsidiary Sun Life & Provincial policy holders have already accepted AXA’s plan to distribute approximately £400 ($580) each to them, a total of £225 million ($326 million). The remaining funds would be retained by AXA. The Consumer’s Association (CA) has challenged the plan, asserting that the funds should be used to increase pension benefit payments and secure mortgage endowments.

The judge awarded the policyholder in who’s name the action by the CA was undertaken £100,000 ($145,000) in legal fees and set December 18th as the date for a full hearing on the dispute, which will now be heard as part of AXA’s request for approval of its payment plan by the High Court.

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