About two million existing and former Affinion – often branded Sentinel – customers are set to get a refund for mis-sold card protection after a redress scheme was today given the green light.
The High Court will now decide whether to give approval to the scheme going ahead, with a hearing set for 9 July.
Approximately 386,000 people voted, representing 19% of those eligible to do so.
Of those who voted, nearly 99% said 'yes' to a redress scheme going ahead, which represents nearly 99% of the total redress value. For the scheme to go ahead it needed to be approved by a majority of voters (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 – although the AI Scheme won't tell us what this is.
The move follows a period of postal votes being sent to the AI Scheme Limited, as well as a creditors meeting on Tuesday (30 June 2015) where people could vote in person. See the Missed the Sentinel postal vote deadline? You can vote 'yes' for redress in person today MSE News story.
MoneySavingExpert has been urging customers mis-sold Sentinel card protection products to back a redress scheme. See our Sentinel guide for more on why redress is due.
What happens next?
Here's a timeline of the key events:
- 9 July 2015: High Court approval.
- 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/Sentinel 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.
I didn't vote, can I still claim?
Yes. Even if you didn't vote on the redress scheme, or if you voted against it, you'll still be able to make a claim if the scheme's approved by the High Court.