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Co-operative Group to launch protected Christmas savings scheme

The Co-operative Group is to launch a Christmas savings scheme trust which it claims will set a new benchmark for consumer protection following the collapse of Farepak in 2006.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Co-operative Group to launch protected Christmas savings scheme

The new scheme, which will be launched in the New Year, will include the implementation of a specifically created trust designed to protect participants’ Christmas savings.

The Co-operative, which has been working closely with representatives of the Farepak Victims Committee set up after the collapse of Christmas club, believes the scheme will set a new standard for other businesses to follow.

The collapse of Farepak led to nearly 120,000 people losing on average £400 each. Since then both the Office of Fair Trading and the Farepak Victims Committee have called upon all businesses operating in this area to improve consumer protection and confidence in such schemes.

Martyn Wates, deputy group chief executive of The Co-operative Group, said: “The memory and impact of Farepak’s demise is still felt by many households within the UK.  Members of the Farepak Victims Committee have, to their enormous credit, kept the issue of consumer protection alive and I am delighted that, as the UK’s biggest consumer-owned business, we have been able to respond in this way.

“Our pioneering approach will give our customers added peace of mind and will set a standard for other businesses to follow. “

Deb Harvey, secretary of the Farepak Victims Committee, added:  “We have been campaigning for six years because, as former customers and agents, we know only too well of the heartache caused by the Farepak collapse.  This is a massive step in the right direction and demonstrates how The Co-operative is putting the customer at the heart of its business.”

 


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