Its nearly six years ago that this company went bust swallowing £40million money received from poor people. Its business model was simple: People save in advance towards Christmas and get gifts or vouchers in return.
However Farepak was owned by another company that was on an acquisition trail and needed money and hey, a good source of funding was to be found in Farepak. By the time of its failure the parent company owed £34million to Farepak. All totally legal in the strict interpretation of the law.
The judge this week has been very critical of the governments attempt and its faulty legal case to bar the directors of Farepak from acting as directors. Justice Smith also criticised the secured bankers (HBOS now state owned) who gobbled up the cash flow in the run up to christmas. A clear case of secured creditors exercising their legal rights to the detriment of the unsecured. But the unsecured were financially naive as to their exposure.
The losers are the people who saved. The law needs to be changed so that such savings are given the rank of a secured creditor and safeguarded in an escrow account. We must learn from this shameful period. In the meantime the taxpayers face a bill of £20 million for the governments errors in its flawed legal proceedings.