The Co-operative Group has unveiled a protected Christmas savings scheme for 2013.

The scheme, which will be launched in the New Year, will see the implementation of a specifically-created trust, giving consumers even greater protection for their savings for Christmas 2013. 

Customers who buy the £1 stamps before the new scheme comes into effect will be able to redeem them as normal.

The scheme has been set up with help from the Farepak Victims Committee. The collapse of Farepak savings scheme in 2006 led to nearly 120,000 people losing on average £400 each. 

Earlier this year Farepak liquidator BDO made payments to the 114,000 creditors, including customers and agents, but the amount refunded was substantially less than what each creditor lost.

Co-operative Group deputy chief executive Martyn Wates said the scheme would offer protection for its members. “The memory and impact of Farepak’s demise is still felt by many households within the UK.  Members of the Farepak Victims Committee have kept the issue of consumer protection alive and I am delighted that, as the UK’s biggest consumer-owned business, we have been able to respond in this way,” he said. “Our pioneering approach will give our customers added peace of mind and will set a standard for other businesses to follow.”

Deb Harvey, secretary of the Farepak Victims Committee, welcomed the scheme. “By putting this new scheme in place, The Co-operative Group really is underlining its care for communities,” she said. “We have been campaigning for six years because, as former customers and agents, we know only too well of the heartache caused by the Farepak collapse. This is a massive step in the right direction and demonstrates how The Co-operative is putting the customer at the heart of its business.”