Customers who lost money following the collapse of Farepak last year will not receive any compensation before Christmas.

About 120,000 victims are set to receive about 5p for every£1 lost, it has been reported.

Centre for Crime and Justice Studies director Richard Garside said: "Many are asking why, if the Government was prepared to underwrite Northern Rock to the tune of billions of pounds, no comprehensive help has been forthcoming."

Up to£40 million was lost when the company went into administration last October.