An All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) of MPs alleged on Wednesday that ScottishPower sustained and sought to cover up a “cashback mis-selling” scandal that cost 625,000 consumers across the UK more than £75 million.
The committee of 28 MPs alleged in a report that the consumers, many of them pensioners, lost out collectively on more than £75 million in unpaid consumer goods guarantees to which they were entitled.
The MPs are now calling for a formal select committee hearing into the issue “so that ScottishPower executives can be called to account for their actions before Parliament, opening the way to achieving some form of justice, including compensation, for those consumers who are affected.”
Launching the report, the chair of the APPG, Andrew Percy MP, said: “Over the past year this group has been compiling evidence from many sources, including liquidators, regulators, former customers and employees on how this came to pass; much of that evidence made detailed allegations of fraud, criminality and more.
“Therefore, we have been shocked by the complete lack of uptake by regulators and authorities to date, and I expect this report to make them sit up and take notice.
“There is no doubt in our mind that selling a Cashback Promise that was neither financially capable of functioning, nor designed to deliver, is effectively a fraud on the public – and they have been covering it up ever since.
“Indeed, we do not believe it was in ScottishPower’s gift to sell on that promise (which was to their customers) to another retailer in the first place.
“It is high time they were held accountable and I look forward to taking this report to our meeting with the Minister next week, I am sure he will agree with our assessment.”
A Scottish Power spokesman told the BBC: “We are extremely disappointed by the content of this report.
“For a period of months we have responded in detail to a series of allegations that are both factually and legally flawed.
“The company is concerned that the findings of the APPG are not only demonstrably wrong but ignore evidence put to the group in writing and some very basic legal principles.
“This matter has been the subject of a number of reviews which have found no evidence of improper conduct on the part of Scottish Power or its advisers.
“As we have said over a period of years, Scottish Power emphatically rejects any suggestion of wrongdoing in relation to the PowerPlan scheme.
“In addition, this matter is the subject of threatened proceedings and in those circumstances Scottish Power does not propose to comment further.”