Executives 'called to account'
Javid to confront ScottishPower over mis-selling claims
New evidence has been presented to the Department for Business and Innovation that claims more than half a million of the energy provider’s customers were impacted by a scandal more than a decade ago.
A campaign group claims customers lost out on £75 million following the collapse of a cashback warranty scheme in the early 2000s.
Mr Javid expressed interest in the dispute in a meeting with Andrew Percy, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group which is investigating the claims.
Daily Business has learned that the Business Secretary will be calling on ScottishPower to meet him.
Shoppers who bought a PowerPlan warranty on items such as fridges and washing machines were told they could get the money back after five years if they had not made a claim.
More than 750,000 such warranties were sold between 1998 and 2001, of which about 625,000 did not make a claim and were therefore eligible for the “cashback”.
However, by then ScottishPower had divested its chain of stores to Powerhouse, which subsequently went into administration.
Two firms which administered and insured the warranties also went bust, and attempts by their administrators to claim money from ScottishPower yielded only £6m.
Mr Percy’s meeting with the Business Secretary followed his raising the issue during Prime Minister’s Questions a fortnight ago. The cross-party group of MPs have written to stakeholders involved in the case notifying them of the group’s intention to call them for imminent evidence.
Following the meeting Mr Percy said: “I absolutely welcome the Business Secretary’s intervention in this matter. The fact that over 625,000 people, many of whom could least afford to lose money, are still out of pocket so many years after the scheme’s collapse is a national scandal.
“There are still individuals at ScottishPower who oversaw this scheme at the time, and they have yet to be called to account. The Business Secretary’s support will I hope ensure that they do the right thing by their customers, and I look forward to working with him in bringing the truth to light.”
The dispute was resurrected last month when Mr Percy told the Prime Minister that a year later “very little has happened.”