Steve Rotheram – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Steve Rotheram on 2016-05-04.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, whether his Department plans to respond formally to (a) the recommendations relating to corporate dishonesty and regulatory failure and (b) other recommendations in the report of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Scottish Power Cashback Mis-selling, published on 20 April 2016.

Anna Soubry

The Government notes the APPG’s report on Scottish Power and the PowerPlan Cashback Promise.

Two investigations have already been undertaken into the ‘cashback companies’ and Scottish Power. The first in 2002 was by the Office of Fair Trading, which made recommendations concerning the rules for customers to claim cashback and which the companies implemented. The second, in 2004, was by the Department of Trade and Industry under s447 of the Companies Act 1985. This investigation is confidential, and the findings are prevented by law from publication.

However it was concluded that there were no grounds for taking further action either against the companies, Scottish Power or the directors involved. This was reviewed again in 2014 when reports were received from the liquidators of the companies, but the position did not change. I can confirm that no new s447 investigation will be taking place.

The Government has no power to determine liability in this case and has no legal standing to intervene in what is a commercial claim by the liquidator of a limited company against Scottish Power. The liquidation of the companies involved in the scheme is still under way, and the creditors of those companies will receive reports from the liquidators if they are to be paid further dividends.