10:40am Friday 6th July 2012
By David Deans
A CAMPAIGNER who has battled for years for savers with the ill-fated Christmas hamper firm Farepak to get their money back is taking her case to a senior UK government minister.
Debbie Harvey, who was recently elected as a Newport city councillor, will meet the Business Secretary Vince Cable in London on July 12.
The campaigner will call for Mr Cable to tighten the laws on saving schemes so something like the Farepak disaster can never happen again.
Cllr Harvey, a former Farepak agent from Alway, has campaigned for justice for the victims of the firm ever since it went into administration in 2006 The collapse of the firm left more than 110,000 customers with losses of £37 million.
Victims of the savings firm are yet to see a penny in compensation.
The news comes after a high court judge partly blamed the bank HBOS – part of the Lloyds Banking Group – for the firm’s collapse and called on it to make a pay ment to the Farepak victims’ compensation fund.
The government has dropped proceedings against Farepak’s directors to have them disqualified as directors.
Cllr Harvey said she wants Mr Cable to make a case for money to be returned to savers.
She also wants to see the law changed so pre-payment schemes are regulated by the Financial Services Authority, so money in them is protected.
“We want regulations so it can’t happen again,” she said. “It’s time someone took a stand and said enough is enough.”
Mr Cable has already written to HBOS to seek its views on the judge’s statement and to ask it whether the bank will increase the compensation fund.
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