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Farepak customers protest targets bank

11th December 2006
By Laura Ellis

Farepak customers who lost a total of almost GBP50 million when the Christmas retail saving scheme collapsed in October 2006, are set to protest outside Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) offices, over the bank's role in the downfall of the UK-based scheme.

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HBOS has been criticized for providing an overdraft facility to European Home Retail, which owns Farepak, and continuing to allow the company to trade despite suffering from problems. HBOS eventually stopped extending the company's overdraft which ultimately resulted in the collapse of Farepak.

In addition, HBOS managed to recoup GBP28 million of the GBP31 million it loaned the company, and has since donated GBP2 million to the Farepak Response Fund, set up to raise money for customers who lost money.

The protest is expected to take place outside the bank's head offices in Edinburgh whilst HBOS' Christmas party takes place inside. Farepak customers have previously called on people invited to the party, including Scottish politicians, to boycott the reception.

HBOS has defended its actions, maintaining that it did nothing wrong and should be able to uphold its right to continue its business.

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