Tesco has opened a £85m compensation scheme to make payouts to thousands of shareholders in the aftermath of its accounting scandal.

The supermarket giant is expected to pay an average of £400 each to more than 10,000 investors and bondholders who were impacted by the false reporting three years ago.

Tesco had forecast profits of £1.1bn for 2014, based on figures provided by its stores division.

£263m black hole

But in September that year, just weeks after boss Dave Lewis had been parachuted in from Unilever, the grocer uncovered a £263m black hole in its balance sheet, linked to a practice of booking in early payments from suppliers.

The scandal battered Tesco’s share price, triggered a major investigation and sparked a string of lawsuits from investors who claimed to have lost millions after buying shares on the basis of misleading accounts.

In July this year, Tesco revealed it would offer financial compensation to investors who purchased shares between August 26 and September 19.

It said it would pay 24.5p per share plus 4% interest, a package that Tesco estimated would cost £85m.

KPMG has been appointed to oversee the compensation process. It is open for shareholders to lodge claims until February 22.

It comes after Tesco was ordered to pay compensation to shareholders by the Financial Conduct Authority.

£129m fine

In March this year, the grocer also agreed with the Serious Fraud Office to pay a £129m fine.

At the time of that announcement, Tesco said it had “undertaken an extensive programme of change” including changes to leadership, financial controls and the nature of its relationships with suppliers.