A creditors meeting to decide whether a compensation scheme for those mis-sold card security insurance from Affinion/Sentinel takes place at 12pm in London today. If you missed the postal vote deadline, this is your last chance to have your say.
Some two million existing and former customers will have already received an initial letter from AI Scheme Limited to let them know they may be entitled to claim compensation, followed by a second letter asking them to vote for or against a compensation scheme. See our Sentinel guide for more on what's already happened.
The deadline for this postal vote was last Tuesday, but if you missed it, you can still attend a creditors' meeting today where you can either vote 'yes' in favour of a redress scheme going ahead, 'no', or you can choose not to vote, in which case you can appoint the chairperson of the creditors meeting to vote on your behalf.
Postal votes received will also be counted at the meeting, although these then need to be processed and verified before the result is published. The AI Scheme says this should be no later than this Friday, 3 July.
If not enough people vote 'yes', the scheme may not go ahead and you won't get compensation.
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Where is the creditors meeting today?
If you or someone else on your behalf is attending today's creditors' meeting, then head to Central Hall Westminster, Storey's Gate, London, SW1H 9NH.
The meetings starts at 12pm, but you'll need to arrive an hour before this to register. Make sure you take a valid passport or driving licence to confirm your identity or if someone's going on your behalf, they'll need to bring a valid passport or driving licence to confirm their identity – this should match the details given on the attendee nomination form.
The chairperson will give a brief overview of the scheme and of the purpose of the creditors meeting and those who have attended will be able to vote.
What happens next?
For the scheme to go ahead it needs to be approved by a majority (i.e. more than 50% of those who voted).
Plus, as each vote is worth a certain amount of money in pounds depending on the length of time people have held the policy (eg, one year is worth less in monetary value than someone who's had it five years), the value of votes has to represent at least 75% of the total redress value – the AI Scheme won't tell us what this is.
For example, if there was £1m in the redress pot, the value of the votes has to be worth £750,000 or more for the redress scheme to go ahead. If a redress scheme is approved, you can still claim compensation, even if you haven't voted.
Here's a timeline of the key events:
- 9 July 2015: High Court approval. If the majority of people voted 'yes', it will go to the High Court to approve.
- 18 August 2015 – 18 March 2016: A seven-month claim period takes place. You'll receive a claim form no later than mid-September 2015.
- Mid-January – start of February 2016: Reminder letters for people to claim ahead of the deadline will be sent out.
- 19 September 2016: Extended claim period for exceptional cases ends. As an example, if you've been out of the country for a long period, the deadline could be extended for you.
What's the problem with Affinion/Sentinel?
You may be entitled to £100s back if you got Affinion card protection directly or via one of 11 banks and card issuers, including Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS and Santander.
The problem is that the 'card security' part of some of these products, which covered fraudulent use if a card was lost or stolen, was completely unnecessary as card issuers are typically responsible for fraudulent transactions.
How much could I reclaim?
The scheme covers policies sold between 14 January 2005 and August 2013.
If the scheme goes ahead, those mis-sold will get back every penny paid for this cover, which usually cost £25/year. You'll also get interest, which is calculated at 8% per year, but you do not get interest on the interest (ie, it's not compound interest).
If you've made a claim, the value of any claim will be deducted from the redress. If your policy is still active and you decide to claim for redress, your policy will be cancelled.