Christmas Pre-payment Association Press Release

                     

24 July 2012                                                                                                         MEDIA INFORMATION

 

Greater protection now available for Christmas Club customers after FSCS intervention

 

Christmas Prepayment Association members extend consumer protection to cover a banking failure

 

The Christmas Prepayment Association (CPA), the self-regulatory trade association for the Christmas savings industry, has strengthened its terms and conditions to maximise the safety of their savers’ money. The move comes after the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) proposed a number of changes to the CPA.

 

Christmas Clubs are not regulated by the Financial Services Authority and so do not come under the direct remit of FSCS. However FSCS can protect the Clubs’ funds in some circumstances, including if the financial institution holding the money fails but the Christmas Club provider continues to operate. Following an approach by FSCS in January the CPA has amended its Code of Practice to ensure that customers’ payments are placed with an FSA-authorised institution and clearly identified against the relevant individual. This means that in the event of a bank failure FSCS will be able to return the money so it can be used to fulfil their order.

 

The enhanced protection applies to schemes run by Country Christmas Savings Ltd, Family Christmas Savings Ltd, Park Christmas Savings Ltd, Flexesaver Ltd and Variety Christmas Club Ltd. Letters have now gone out to customers informing them of the changes. Banking deposits with the Post Office Christmas Savings Club, the sixth and final CPA member, are already covered by the Irish Deposit Guarantee Scheme.

 

Mark Neale, Chief Executive of the FSCS, said: “Although Christmas Clubs are not covered by FSCS we saw that a number of simple steps could be taken to improve the protection available for people who save with such schemes. We approached the CPA and are delighted they have accepted our suggestions to ensure that all customer funds are kept in FSA-authorised accounts, with individual amounts clearly identified. In the event of a bank failure, the customers of CPA members can be sure their money is safe.

 

“Customers should be fully aware of the risks associated with every product, including Christmas Clubs, before taking one out. They can check whether FSCS protection will be available by visiting our website or asking the provider. In these tough times, consumers can have peace of mind by knowing that FSCS will be there for them if they need it.”

 

Derek Walpole, Chairman of the Christmas Prepayment Association, commented: “Our members’ Christmas Clubs provide a service that hundreds of thousands of people find useful and convenient. They allow hard-working families to put aside some of their money to save for presents so they can enjoy Christmas. We want to do everything we can to protect our customers and so are delighted to tighten our code of conduct to do this.”

 

FSCS protects consumers if banks, building societies or credit unions go bust. Since 2001, it has helped more than 4.5 million people and paid out more than £26 billion. It covers the full range of financial services.

 

 

-ENDS-

 

Notes to Editors

 

1. About the FSCS

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) is theUK’s statutory compensation scheme for customers of authorised financial services firms. This means that FSCS can pay compensation if a firm is unable, or likely to be unable, to pay claims against it. FSCS is an independent body funded by a levy on authorised financial services firms. FSCS does not charge individual consumers for using its service.

 

Since 31 December 2011 the compensation limit for savings and deposits has been £85,000, up from the previous limit of £50,000. Pay-outs are now made on a ‘gross’ basis, ring-fencing deposits in the event that a consumer also holds loans with an institution that has gone bust. FSCS aims to pay compensation within seven days and in a maximum of twenty days if a deposit taker fails. For more information visit www.fscs.org.uk

 

2. About the Christmas Prepayment Association (CPA)

The CPA is a self-regulatory trade association for the Christmas savings industry which was set up after the collapse of Farepak in October 2006. It was launched in autumn 2007 and has six members – Country Christmas Savings Ltd, Family Christmas Savings Ltd, Park Christmas Savings Ltd (all three are subsidiaries of Park Group PLC), Flexesaver Ltd (also owned by Park Group), Variety Christmas Savings Club Ltd, and Post Office Christmas Savings Club. The CPA has a code of practice which is designed to give customers the “best possible service” and improve “the security of monies paid by them to members”.

 

3. Changes to the terms and conditions of the CPA’s members

The following changes have been made to ensure the FSCS can protect the Christmas Club customers of CPA members, excluding the Post Office, in the event of their bank failing:

 

  • Making clear that customer payments have been placed with a bank authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, which is protected by FSCS.
  • In the event of that bank collapsing, that the Christmas Club provider is authorised to disclose the customer’s personal details (such as their name, address and payments) to the FSCS.
  • The Christmas Club provider will then receive any sum which the customer is entitled to from FSCS, which will then be applied towards the balance of their account to fulfil their order.

 

Post Office banking deposits are held in a joint venture with the Bank of Ireland and so are covered by the Irish Deposit Guarantee Scheme. However its Christmas Club card is not covered by FSCS as its remit does not extend to pre-paid/e-cards.

 

LIQUIDATION OF FAREPAK – THE FACTS

Unfairpak wish to clear up in-factual information that is being put out into the World Wide Web.

All Agents of Farepak receive an Annual Report each year it is a shortened version of that which is sent to trade suppliers and former employees of Farepak.  The Agents are asked to show their customers said Reports in order to keep the costs down.  Alternatively, if customers have access to the internet, they can download these reports at www.farepak.co.uk .

If you were an Agent and are still receiving Annual Reports then your claim is registered!  You only need to notify The Claims Management Team if you have changed your name or address.  You need to write to  Claims Management Team, Farepak Food & Gifts Limited – In Liquidation, PO Box 3404 , Swindon, SN2 9EQ with details of your new address or new name.  If you have been married send a photocopy of your marriage certificate.  If your are the next of kin of an Agent who has sadly died, please send a photocopy of their death certificate to the Claims Management Team.

If you were a customer of Farepak, please check with your Agent that they submitted your claim in 2006/2007.  If your Agent confirms that they did and you have not changed your name or address since 2006 then you have to do nothing.  If you have changed your name or address since 2006 you need to write to  Claims Management Team, Farepak Food & Gifts Limited – In Liquidation, PO Box 3404 , Swindon, SN2 9EQ with details of your old address and new address.  If you have gotten married you need to send a photocopy of your Marriage Certificate.  If sadly, you are next of kin of a customer who has died, then you have to send a photocopy of the Death Certificate to the Claims Management Team.

Unfairpak are fully equipped to deal with all matters relating to Farepak and we can answer all questions in respect of same.  The difference between Unfairpak answering questions and the Claims Management Team is the fact it saves time and money.  The Claims Management Team are inundated, as are Unfairpak.  However, Unfairpak works on a purely voluntary basis and by contacting us you are not adding to the costs of the liquidation.

If people are advising you to write direct or in fact email people at BDO, these people are actually causing you to incur costs in respect of the liquidation.  Again, Unfairpak would stress that we have a direct line to BDO and if we cannot answer your question ourselves, we can have a response within basically an hour to your question.

Regarding the non receipt of Farepak Response Fund vouchers prior to Christmas 2006.  Please DO NOT submit a claim to BDO.  This is false and inaccurate information which is being given out.  The issue of the non receipt of vouchers is being looked into and Unfairpak should be in a position next week to advise in respect of same.  What Unfairpak would like to point out is the fact that it was vouchers that were sent out prior to Christmas 2006 NOT cash.  Accordingly, please think back and ask yourself “did I receive vouchers from my Agent prior to Christmas 2006”.  The vouchers were Love 2 Shop vouchers and were distributed registered delivery by Park Group Plc.

If there is anything we can do to help, please ask.  As we have stated, if we cannot answer your question directly, we can have a response, during normal working hours, within an hour at the latest.

 

Farepak Website Updated 17 July 2012

http://www.farepak.co.uk/

Unfairpak can advise that the cut off date for registering claims, updating names, changes of address etcetera has been extended until 7 August 2012 due to the volume of calls, emails etcetera by customers querying various points.

Please note that a PHOTOCOPY will suffice when you have to provide copy death certificate.

Same applies for a Marriage Certificate, a PHOTOCOPY will suffice.

Cheques will now begin to go out in September instead of August.

Updated 17 July 2012

 

Martha H Thompson and Dermot Power of BDO LLP, Kings Wharf, 20-30 Kings Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 3EX were appointed Joint Liquidators of Farepak on 4 October 2007.

This follows the appointment of Martha H Thompson and Shagun Dubey of BDO LLP, Kings Wharf, 20-30 Kings Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 3EX as Joint Administrators over the assets and business of Farepak on 13 October 2006.

Extension of Final Deadline to Submit Customer and Agent Claims

Following the announcement that the Joint Liquidators will be making dividend payments to creditors, including customers and agents, a number of people have asked for additional time so that they can make sure they have sent in their claims and have updated their personal details.

The Joint Liquidators can confirm that they will give customers and agents an additional three weeks, up to 7 August 2012, to make sure their claims and details are correct.

Because customers and agents are being allowed this extra time, this will mean that the Joint Liquidators will send out cheques during September.

Customers and agents who need to contact the Claims Management Team to submit a claim or to update their details should do so by 7 August 2012 by writing to Claims Management Team, Farepak Food & Gifts Limited – In Liquidation, PO Box 3404, Swindon, SN2 9EQ.

After 7 August 2012, the Joint Liquidators will begin the process of producing cheques and all of the money held by the Liquidators will be paid to creditors, including customers and agents, during September. This will mean that the Joint Liquidators will not be able to accept new claims from customers and agents that are sent in after 7 August 2012.

Joint Liquidators announce dividend payment

The Joint Liquidators of Farepak have announced that they will be making dividend payments to Farepak’s creditors, including customers and agents. In addition, the Joint Liquidators will at the same time distribute the £8million ex-gratia payment to customers and agents made by Lloyds Banking Group. The ex-gratia payment will be issued by the Joint Liquidators at no additional cost. The dividend payment – approved by the Liquidation Committee – marks the end of the liquidation of Farepak for creditors.

The Joint Liquidators have been working throughout the liquidation to recover as much money as possible for creditors as directed by the Liquidation Committee, which was set up by court order to represent all those who lost money as a result of the collapse of Farepak. This work has required the Joint Liquidators to investigate a number of possible claims and engage in legal proceedings with third parties. The Joint Liquidators have now finished their investigations and recovered as much money as possible for creditors and are in a position to pay a dividend.

Farepak collapsed leaving no money to pay a dividend to its creditors. The Joint Liquidators are now able to confirm that a payment will be made to customers and agents of approximately 32p in the £. This sum includes the dividend payment of approximately 13p in the £ secured by the Joint Liquidators and the £8million ex-gratia payment made by Lloyds Banking Group. The Joint Liquidators will aim to make payments to Farepak’s 114,000 creditors during September.

When added to the 17.5p in the £ given to all customers and agents by the Farepak Response Fund charity, set up by the Department for Trade and Industry in 2006, the dividend payment means that customers and agents of Farepak will have received a total of approximately 50p in the £.

Further details on dividend payments

By law, the Joint Liquidators must take certain steps during the time between the announcement of the dividend payment, and when the cheques are sent out to all creditors including customers and agents.

The Joint Liquidators have also agreed to give customers and agents an extra three weeks to allow them to provide information about their claims and to update their personal details.

Based on the time needed to complete the above, the Joint Liquidators will aim to make payments during September.

 

1. How much money will I get? 

The work undertaken by the Joint Liquidators has increased the dividend payable to approximately 13p in the £, compared to nothing when Farepak went into administration. The Joint Liquidators will also distribute the £8m ex-gratia payment to customers and agents made by Lloyds Banking Group at the same time as the dividend payments, This will mean that customers and agents will receive a total payment of approximately 32p in the £.

This will mean that, for example:

– a customer or agent with a claim of £100 will receive approximately £32;

– a customer or agent with a claim of £500 will receive approximately £160; and

– a customer or agent with a claim of £1,000 will receive approximately £320.

The Joint Liquidators will aim to make payments to Farepak’s 114,000 creditors during September.

 

2. Why are payments being made by cheque, and not directly into bank accounts?

 

The Joint Liquidators are making the dividend payments by cheque because it is the best way of ensuring the money reaches the right person in this case.

 

3. Is this the final payment I will receive?

 

The dividend payment is the total and final payment that will be made to creditors. The dividend payment marks the end of the liquidation of Farepak for creditors, including customers and agents.

 

4. Why has the estimated dividend changed?

 

As with all administration and liquidation processes, it is not possible to calculate the exact dividend payment until all monies are recovered, the final number of creditors is known and all work is completed. For this reason, all dividend figures that have been shared by the Joint Liquidators (formerly Joint Administrators) to date have been based on projections and clearly set out as estimates.

 

As directed by the Liquidation Committee, which was set up by court order to represent all those who lost money as a result of the collapse of Farepak, the Joint Liquidators have been working throughout the course of the administration and liquidation to recover as much money as possible for creditors, including customers and agents. This work has required the Joint Liquidators to investigate a number of possible claims and engage in legal proceedings with third parties. The Joint Liquidators have now finished their investigations and are in a position to pay a dividend.

 

The work undertaken by the Joint Liquidators has increased the dividend payable to approximately 13p in the £, compared to nothing when Farepak went into administration. The Joint Liquidators will also distribute the £8million ex-gratia payment to customers and agents made by Lloyds Banking Group at the same time as the dividend payment. This means that customers and agents will receive a total payment of approximately 32p in the £.

 

Changes of personal details

 

Changes of name

 

Creditors who have changed their name since submitting their original claim but not notified the Claims Management Team should register their change of name by sending details of their name, their agent’s number, the amount of their claim, a copy of their marriage certificate or copies of other documentation and their signature to Claims Management Team, Farepak Food & Gifts Limited – In Liquidation, PO Box 3404, Swindon, SN2 9EQ by 7 August. The Claims Management Team is not able to deal with changes of name over the telephone or via email for security reasons. The Joint Liquidators can confirm that customers and agents do not need to send in original certificates.

 

 

Changes of address

 

Creditors who have changed their address since submitting their original claim but not notified the Claims Management Team should register their change of address by sending details of their name, their agent’s number, the amount of their claim, their old address, their new address and their signature to Claims Management Team, Farepak Food & Gifts Limited – In Liquidation, PO Box 3404, Swindon, SN2 9EQ by 7 August. The Claims Management Team is not able to deal with changes of address over the telephone or via email for security reasons.

 

Notification of customer / agent death

 

We are not able to deal with notifications of death over the telephone for security reasons. If you wish to notify us of the death of an agent or customer, please send a copy of the death certificate and the new address for correspondence together with the agent’s number (if known), to: Claims Management Team, Farepak Food & Gifts Limited – In Liquidation, PO Box 3404 , Swindon, SN2 9EQ. The Joint Liquidators can confirm that customers and agents do not need to send in original certificates.

 

Report to Creditors

Please click here for information about the 2011 report to creditors

Trust Monies

Please click here for information about the Trust monies ruling on 31 July 2009.

Media Reporting Farepak “victims” to get 50% back – FACTS

There are many media reports circulating with headlines such as “Farepak customers will get half their money back”; “Farepak victims to receive 50 p for every £ saved”; “Farepak customers to receive half of money owed” etcetera.

Unfairpak would like to state that we have been contacted by customers in excess of 400 by various means.  They have been quite clear on what is being reported.  They know they are to receive a further 32 pence in the £.  Some of these customers have acknowledged they received the 17.5 pence in the £ prior to Christmas 2006 and some are stating they did not receive same. 

What Unfairpak can confirm is the fact that the liquidators sent a “mirrored image” of the Farepak database to the Farepak Response Fund.  The vouchers were then sent out to Agents on the database to distribute to their customers.  These vouchers were sent registered delivery by Park Group Plc. 

We [liquidators and Unfairpak] are looking into possible reasons why some people may have not received same and hope to have an answer early next week which we will report on.

Unfairpak concede that some of the headlines are “misleading” in the media but as aforesaid, over 400 customers who have contacted us ARE clear it is 32 pence they are to receive.

When our National Campaign Co-ordinator spoke to the Press Association, this is what she said:-

Suzy Hall, national co-ordinator for campaign group Unfairpak, hailed today’s announcement as a victory.

She said: “To think we started in 2006 with zero. To finally be able to pay out an extra 32p is a fantastic result. Never in my wildest imagination did I think we would get back 50p in the pound. Unfairpak believe we have won.”

Suzy has NEVER stated to any newspaper that customers are to RECEIVE 50 pence back in the £.  She has clearly given a breakdown of the 50 pence in the £ and every newspaper that we have seen have reported the 17.5 pence in the £ will bring the total payout to 50 pence in the £.  Being pedantic, the figure is actually 49.5 pence in £ although we have obviously not used half pennies for years now.

 

Unfairpak Meeting Vince Cable 12 July 2012

Unfairpak can advise that the meeting that was set up by Yvonne Fovargue MP with Vince Cable did take place today.

Unfairpak were represented as were FVC, Yvonne Fovargue MP, Sir Ian McCartney, Ian Murray MP, Katy Clark MP and Jessica Morden MP were all in attendance along with various members of the Department of Business and Innovation.

Dr Cable did have an Agenda he wished to follow and detailed same but it turned out said Agenda was not adhered to.  The Insolvency Service explained that they had not waited for a report from the Insolvency Practitioner but had in fact commissioned a “fact finding” enquiry into the collapse of the group.  Their enquiries gave “cause for concern” regarding the directors’ “conduct” and they accordingly decided to take against against the directors.  The advised that 2 directors took undertakings while the other 9 chose to defend same.

Counsel had given the Insolvency Service a 50% chance of being successful.  However, as witnesses began to give evidence and started contradicting themselves, it was evident that the case had to be dismissed.  Unfairpak have to point out that the directors have been found guilty of NOTHING and have had the case against them dismissed.

The Insolvency Service advised that a “Lesson’s Learned” will be commissioned by themselves for use in future cases.

Talk turned to “what to do next” and the subject of regulation of the pre-payment industry came up.

Sir Ian McCartney was very vocal regarding the success of the Christmas Pre-payment Association and Suzy Hall was able to advise that the CPA have been in talks with the Financial Services Compensation Authority.  Suzy advised that the CPA are close to announcing shortly that the CPA and FSCA have agreed terms whereby if a member company had funds invested in a bank and that bank were to go to the wall, the FSCA would step in.  The general consensus was that supermarkets with Christmas saving schemes should become members of the CPA.  However, FVC pointed out that this would “not happen” as the CPA is “self-regulatory”.

Unfairpak and Yvonne Fovargue MP will press the supermarkets again and ask if they will re consider.  Suzy did advise Katy Clark and Jessica Morden after the meeting that a solicitor acting on behalf of a supermarket had called the CPA telephone line regarding how to go about joining the CPA.  Suzy advised Jessica and Katy that the solicitor would not name which supermarket she was calling on behalf of.

Yvonne Fovargue mentioned many pre-payment schemes which are not regulated and stated that a “big sign” stating “your savings are not protected” should be above such schemes.  Yvonne has a long history of working with Citizens Advice Bureau and Unfairpak felt it wrong that she did not get to speak longer given that it was her who secured the meeting.

FVC called for an enquiry into the administration/liquidation of Farepak Food & Gifts Limited.  Mr Cable indicated that this would not be happening but that the Insolvency Industry as a whole would be looked at.

For the record, again, after the meeting, Suzy spoke to both Jessica and Katy and explained that the Liquidation Committee of Farepak Food & Gifts Limited were very “vocal” and when said Liquidation Committee were first presented fees to approve, we asked for a 10% discount and were given same.  Suzy also advised Katy and Jessica that BDO had waived their fee in respect of dealing with the Farepak Response Fund and in dealing with the £8 million Mr Cable shamed Lloyds into donating.  Both Jessica and Katy took on board Suzy’s comments that perhaps had it been another liquidator acting, this may not have happened.  Suzy also clarified with Jessica and Katy that the evidence presented to the Liquidation Committee proved that the liquidators should purse third parties.

During the meeting FVC indicated that BDO had “misled” the public into thinking they were getting 50% back in compensation.  Suzy attempted to explain that the figures were set out in BDO’s press release and with all the media work she [Suzy] had done, regarding the compensation, she had set out clearly that customers received 17.5 pence in the £ from the Farepak Response Fund in 2006 with a further 32 pence in the £ coming from the liquidators.  Suzy did point out during the meeting that it was “thanks to Mr Cable” that Lloyds had been “shamed” into paying a further £8 million. 

Unfairpak have to state that since the announcement by BDO we have had in excess of 150 members join our site.  We have answered in excess of 200 emails and have lost count of the number of telephone calls that we have received on the information line.  Not one single person has indicated to Unfairpak that they thought they were receiving 50% back.  The queries have been in relation to claims, changes of address, change of names, sadly customers stating that they did not receive the 17.5 pence in £ from their Agents prior to Christmas 2006 and again, sadly, deaths.

Unfairpak have confirmed directly with BDO and have ascertained that a “mirrored image” of the Farepak database with all Agents names and addresses was sent to the Farepak Response Fund.  Unfairpak can further confirm that all vouchers were sent out registered post to Agents by Park Group Plc.

Accordingly, Unfairpak completely refute FVC’s allegation that BDO are “misleading” customers.  We also completely refute FVC’s allegation that Suzy, herself, has “misled” customers.  As we have had contacts by various means in excess of 400 customers who eithere received the 17.5 pence or did not but who were all very clear that it was 32 pence in the £ that they would be receiving now.

The meeting was concluded and Unfairpak can confirm that Suzy was asked to “stay behind” by Vince Cable before the meeting actually started.  Suzy had sensitive details to provide in respect of HBOS which she did not feel should be shared with anyone else.  A full account of these details were taken and Unfairpak can confirm that we and Yvonne Fovargue have been advised to write to George Moody MP and Andrew Tyrie MP to call for everyone at HBOS in 2006 involved with Farepak, to be called and brought before the Treasury Select Committee.

Unfairpak can also confirm that in respect of our involvement with the Crown Currency Exchange Action Group, Suzy did pass on documentation to Mr Cable and asked him to investigate Barclay’s role in this debacle.  We shall continue to work with the Crown Currency Action Group and hopefully aid them in gaining a satisfactory result.

After the meeting Graham Hiscott from the Daily Mirror interviewed FVC and their respective MPs and Suzy Hall and Yvonne Fovargue in respect of the Daily Mirror’s “Guard Our Cash” Campaign.  Hopefully with the help of the Daily Mirror, we can flag up regulations which are lacking on behalf of customers.

Any questions, please feel free to comment below.

 

BREAKING NEWS Farepak to be Wound Up

It has been a long and sometimes difficult 5 1/2, almost 6 years, however, Unfairpak are pleased to announce that Farepak is finally to be wound up. 

We would like to thank BDO, the liquidators, their legal team, the forensic accoutants, the whole Team on Unfairpak, Ian McCartney, Anne Snelgrove and all other MPs involved in the battle and also the Media for allowing us to keep this story running.

Please see Press Release below.

 

Date 10 July 2012  
Subject Farepak Joint Liquidators announce dividend payment

 

Farepak Joint Liquidators announce dividend payment

 

The Joint Liquidators of Farepak have today announced that they will be making dividend payments to Farepak’s creditors, including customers and agents, at the end of next month.  In addition, the Joint Liquidators will at the same time distribute the £8million ex-gratia payment to customers and agents made by Lloyds Banking Group.   The ex-gratia payment will be issued by the Joint Liquidators at no additional cost.  The dividend payment – approved by the Liquidation Committee – marks the end of the liquidation of Farepak for creditors.

 

The Joint Liquidators have been working throughout the liquidation to recover as much money as possible for creditors as directed by the Liquidation Committee, which was set up by court order to represent all those who lost money as a result of the collapse of Farepak. This work has required the Joint Liquidators to investigate a number of possible claims and engage in legal proceedings with third parties.  The Joint Liquidators have now finished their investigations and recovered as much money as possible for creditors and are in a position to pay a dividend. 

 

Farepak collapsed leaving no money to pay a dividend to its creditors.   The Joint Liquidators are now able to confirm that a payment will be made to customers and agents of approximately 32p in the £.  This sum includes the dividend payment of approximately 13p in the £ secured by the Joint Liquidators and the £8million ex-gratia payment made by Lloyds Banking Group.  The Joint Liquidators will aim to make payments to Farepak’s 114,000 creditors at the end of August. 

 

When added to the 17.5p in the £ given to all customers and agents by the Farepak Response Fund charity, set up by the Department for Trade and Industry in 2006, the dividend payment means that customers and agents of Farepak will have received a total of approximately 50p in the £.

 

Creditors who have changed their address since submitting their original claim but not notified the Claims Management Team should register their change of address by sending details of their name, their agent’s number, the amount of their claim, their old address, their new address and their signature to Claims Management Team, Farepak Food & Gifts Limited – In Liquidation, PO Box 3404, Swindon, SN2 9EQ within two weeks.  The Claims Management Team is not able to deal with changes of address over the telephone or via email for security reasons. 

 

– Ends –

 

Note to editors BDO LLP, a UK limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales under number OC305127, is a member of BDO International Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, and forms part of the international BDO network of independent member firms. A list of members’ names is open to inspection at our registered office, 55 Baker Street, London W1U 7EU.  BDO LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority to conduct investment business.

 

The combined fee income of all the BDO Member Firms, including the members of their exclusive alliances, was €4.06 billion in 2011. The global network provides business advisory services in 135 countries, with almost 48,800 people working out of 1,118 offices, worldwide.

 

BDO is the brand name for the BDO International network and for each of the BDO Member Firms.

 

BDO Northern Ireland, a partnership formed in and under the laws of Northern Ireland, is licensed to operate within the international BDO network of independent member firms.

 

Contacts Laura Gainsford and Rebecca Harper at Blue Rubicon on behalf of BDO LLP

 

 

Tel: 0207 260 2700

Fax: 0207 260 2701

Email: bdo@bluerubicon.com

http://www.bdo.uk.com/news.html

Unfairpak’s Response to £8 million from Lloyds

It would have cost roughly £3 to £5 million for HBOS to ‘save’ Farepak but HBOS wanted their money back and they got it, leaving 116,439 customers with claims totalling £37 million out of pocket and facing a miserable Christmas in 2006.

Unfairpak held a demonstration outside HBOS’s HQ in Edinburgh on 11 December 2006 with a large media presence.  We had our fantastic laminated ‘UNFAIRPAK’, banner and Colin Fox, former MSP, came up with the wonderful slogan ‘Hand Back Our Savings’!

We also had a petition with thousands of signatures and many emails from MSP’s stating that they would not be attending the Champagne Reception that HBOS were holding on that very cold December night.

Unfairpak knew then that HBOS had our savings and we wanted them back.  The bank, on the other hand, decided, very kindly, to give us Shane O’Riordain with an ‘open’ letter to Unfairpak which our National Campaign Co-ordinator read to the demonstrators.

Shane very quickly became known and called as ‘Shame on Shane’ and it was truly ‘shame on Shane’ as he was the one sent out to spin HBOS’s poor, pathetic attempt at discrediting Unfairpak and in fact Suzy herself.  HBOS were “very disappointed” that Suzy stated that the £2 million donation, being the single largest donation, to the Farepak Response Fund (if we heard that once, we heard it one hundred times from Shame on Shane) “disgusted her”.  HBOS went onto state that they “broke the golden rule of banking” as banks hardly ever made a charitable donation to companies that had collapsed and they had provided finance to same.  However, that is exactly what it was, a charitable, guilty donation and now Lloyds wish to ‘top it up’ by £8 million to the £10 million suggested in court by Mr Justice Peter Smith.

Lloyds are now ‘responsible’ for HBOS’s greed due to the fact that it is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Lloyds Banking Group.  However, don’t feel sorry for Lloyds, as they were later, along with other banks, to be bailed out by the taxpayer and owes said taxpayer around £20 billion – YES £20 BILLION!

Unfairpak firmly believe that Lloyds should actually be paying £10,251,000.  We reach this figure as this is the amount that was swept up from Farepak to HBOS from suspension of EHR’s shares on 23 August 2006 until the Group’s collapse.  If you look at Woolworths as a comparison, when they suspended their shares they put the firm into administration, EHR, on the other hand, continued to trade.  This is the date that Unfairpak feel we can say categorically that EHR should have been put into administration but was not.

Now some people will read this and think “£10,251,000, are you crazy……”?  What we have to remember is that HBOS did NOT act illegally.  They did however act wholly immorally especially with the Park II rescue plan, which, as Unfairpak stated at the beginning of this post, would have cost HBOS £3 to £5 million to ‘save’ Farepak.  HBOS ‘sat on’ Park II for 6 weeks, initially calling it a “neat solution…..” only later to pull the plug completely on the Group.

Suzy Hall along with Yvonne Fovargue and Ian McCartney are meeting with Mr Vince Cable on Thursday 12 July 2012 to discuss “the case”.  Mr Cable has stated today that “My department and Lloyds will work to make sure this money gets to the victims as quickly as possible.”  There are several ways this can be done, the simplest being through BDO.  Now some people are going to get a little tetchy that Unfairpak should even dare mention BDO and money in the same sentence.  What people have to realise is that they have no idea what goes on behind the scenes of an administration/liquidation and Unfairpak appreciate that must be extremely frustrating.  However, BDO are the best equipped to deal with distributing the funds.   BDO actually waived their fee in respect of dealing with the Farepak Response Fund.  Unfairpak are NOT suggesting that BDO would waive a fee dealing with Lloyds but we are pointing out that they have done so before.

To bring this blog to a close, Unfairpak would urge Lloyds to up their offer to £10,251,000 and lastly, we expect and shall demand that ALL senior management of HBOS from 2006 involved with Farepak are brought before the Treasury Select Committee to answer questions on their actions.  They have called our savings “Doris” that comment may prove to be “Deadly” especially when they are fighting a group that completely deserved Scottish Herald Politician Campaign of the Year Award in 2007.

 

 

 

 

Vince Cable’s Statement Lloyds £8 million to Farepak

The Business Secretary Vince Cable has today responded to the Lloyds Banking Group statement on their decision to make an ex-gratia payment of £8 million for Farepak’s former customers. Dr Cable wrote to Lloyds on 28 June asking for their views on the comments made about the bank by Justice Peter Smith. Lloyds Banking Group has today responded.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

 

“The result of the legal proceedings case against the former directors was disappointing but this increased compensation will go some way in helping those who were left considerably out of pocket by Farepak’s collapse. My department and Lloyds will work to make sure this money gets to the victims as quickly as possible. I will be meeting a group of Farepak’s creditors and MPs next week to discuss the case.”