Co-op improves saving protections

Co-opThe Co-operative said it has stepped up protections for people paying into its Christmas saving stamps scheme, by launching a new trust to ring-fence their cash.

The supermarket said it has been working on the new scheme with members of the Farepak Victims Committee and the move comes as a response to concerns about customers being left out of pocket following the collapse of high-street names.
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The changes mean that when a customer buys a savings stamp in store, the money received for it will be transferred into a trust account which will be managed independently until the stamp is redeemed.

The Co-op said it has thousands of stamp customers and most buy one or two stamps each week. Nearly £2 million worth of saving stamps were cashed in during 2012.

The stamps cost £1 each and anyone redeeming a full book with £48 worth of stamps in it in December receives another £2 worth of stamps.

Liquidators confirmed last July that former Farepak customers would be paid back about half the money they lost in the collapse of the Christmas hamper business.

Deborah Harvey and Louise McDaid, secretary and chairwoman of the Farepak Victims Committee, said of the Co-op's announcement: "The Co-operative has joined us in pioneering this scheme right across the country and we are very proud that they have not only listened, but acted on everything we requested of them."
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