A SAVINGS scheme set up after a Christmas hamper firm went bust has grown a £1million nest egg for its members.

Scotwest Credit Union today revealed a record £1.1m has been saved in its Christmas saving scheme, which was launched months after the collapse of Farepak in October, 2006.

Farepak was a Christmas hamper company.

It ran a savings scheme which went bust owing £37m to 114,000 savers.

Following the firm's liquidation, Scotwest chiefs launched a festive savings account.

Based in Elmbank Street in the centre of Glasgow, the credit union offers its members the chance to save for Christmas, and unlike other savings schemes also provides full protection with a financial services compensation guarantee.

The number of savers has grown over the last five years and now around 1600 members are set to share £1.1m.

Around 150 savers live in Glasgow and are about to receive a combined windfall of £78,000.

Some city members have been saving just £10 a month for the last year and will pocket £130.

One saver, however, has been paying in £215 each month and is to receive more than £1500.

Scotwest chief executive Rod Ashley said: "This is a phenomenal amount of money that our members have saved.

"Christmas is a wonderful time of year. However, it can be a difficult time for many, with the increased pressure of gifts, food and festive nights out.

"It may come at the same time every year but some people still leave their finances until the last minute, which can often result in increased stress and often a reliance on credit cards or high interest short-term loans.

"Our account was designed to help people manage their savings gradually throughout the year in a way that is convenient to them.

"Anyone working for one of our select employers can have their chosen savings deducted straight from their wages each payday, making it even easier to put money aside.

"Direct debit facilities can also be set up with members able to choose how often and how much they save."

The nest egg will be shared out in the coming days.

Mr Ashley said: "Each November, our members have their Christmas savings paid directly into their bank accounts, leaving them able to enjoy the festive period without having to worry about how they are going to pay for it, or dreading a financial hangover in January."

gordon.thomson@ eveningtimes.co.uk