THE fund set up to compensate victims of the Farepak Christmas savings scheme collapse is to close today.
Around 150,000 people in the UK, many of them on low incomes, lost an average of £400 each when the company went into administration last month.
So far, the response fund for victims has raised £5.8 million from companies and individuals, representing about 10% of the money lost.
The BBC reported that unless there was a last-minute flurry of contributions, savers could expect about 15p back for every £1 they had saved.
The administrators who took over the running of the company when it collapsed expect to pay a further four pence or five pence for every £1 some time next year.
The largest contribution to the fund so far has been £2 million from the Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS).
HBOS had provided an overdraft facility to Farepak's parent company, European Home Retail, and the decision not to extend it eventually led to administrators being called in.
The Government has faced criticism that regulatory procedures were not strong enough to defend the interests of consumers.
The Commons Treasury Select Committee yesterday said the collapse of Farepak highlighted a "serious" lack of protection for consumers.