The Historical Shortfall Scheme
Thank you for visiting the website of the Historical Shortfall Scheme.
Please note the scheme is now closed and can no longer accept new applications.
If you have submitted an application and haven’t yet heard from us, we will be in touch with you shortly.
If you have any questions about your application in the meantime, please get in touch with the scheme at firstname.lastname@example.org.
last updated: 28 November 2020
Update to Panel Terms of Reference – 6 October 2021
The Terms of Reference for the Independent Advisory Panel have been updated to reflect the appointment of additional panel members to the Historical Shortfall Scheme's Independent Advisory Panel.
Please see the updated document on the right-hand side of the website and the Q&As below.
Why has Post Office appointed additional panel members?
Post Office has appointed additional panel members with a similar level of qualifications and experience to the original panel to assist in the effective running of the scheme and to ensure that individual cases are progressed as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Who is on the panel to assess cases?
Each case will be assessed by three members of the Independent Advisory Panel comprising one legal specialist; one forensic accounting specialist; and one retail specialist.
The panel consists of two legal specialists (Alex Charlton QC and James Cross QC); two forensic accounting specialists (Susan Blower and Kevin Haywood Crouch) and two retail experts (Sunder Sandher and Chris Mitchener).
In addition, a legal specialist from barristers’ chambers 4 Pump Court and a forensic accounting specialist from accountancy firm BDO may be appointed as delegates should relevant members of the panel be unable to attend panel meetings.
Updated Privacy Notice for Scheme
We have updated the Privacy Notice for the Historical Shortfall Scheme as of 23 August 2021.
Please see the list of documents on the right to read and download the updated version.
Update to Panel Terms of Reference
The Terms of Reference for the independent advisory panel have been updated to reflect the increased interest rate that will be applied to payments made for shortfall loss and consequential loss claims under the Historical Shortfall Scheme.
Please see the updated document on the right-hand side of the website and the Q&A below.
Why has the interest rate been set at 3.45%?
Post Office decided to base the Scheme’s interest rate on historic Bank of England rates as this was considered the fairest and most straightforward approach for all postmasters. Horizon was first rolled out nationally on 11 April 1999 and so Post Office considers it fair to calculate the average weighted interest rate from this date until 14 August 2020, the date Scheme formally closed for applications (which is 2.45%). It is considered standard practice by the Commercial Court to add 1% to a base rate and Post Office has also adopted this approach, making the rate 3.45% (2.45% + 1%).
last updated: 31 December 2020
Independent advisory panel Terms of Reference and consequential loss principles
We are pleased to announce the publication of the Terms of Reference for the independent advisory panel that will assess eligible applications and also the consequential loss principles for the Historical Shortfall Scheme. You can find these on the right-hand side of this page along with explanatory notes. Applicants to the scheme should please read the documents carefully.
The contents have been agreed with the independent advisory panel and confirm the key principles that apply in the assessment of applications.
We hope applicants will welcome the principles set out here. If you no longer wish to progress your application for any reason, you may withdraw it at any point up until you receive an outcome confirmation from the scheme, but we hope that you will want to remain in the scheme.
last updated: 30 September 2020
Important update to Historical Shortfall Scheme Eligibility Criteria
Post Office has announced a change to the Eligibility Criteria for the Historical Shortfall Scheme. It means postmasters who entered into settlement agreements with Post Office before the High Court’s judgment on Horizon Issues on 16 December 2019 will be able to apply to the scheme (unless they were part of the group litigation against Post Office that settled in December 2019).
Paragraph 6 of the original Eligibility Criteria meant that postmasters who had entered into settlement agreements with Post Office as part of the 2013 Mediation Scheme or under Network Transformation or other scheme were the only postmasters who had entered into settlement agreements who were eligible to apply to the scheme. It has come to Post Office’s attention during the course of the scheme that there are a small number of postmasters who entered into settlement agreements outside of the group litigation and before the High Court’s judgment on Horizon Issues on 16 December 2019, and would not therefore have had the benefit of knowing the Court’s findings on those issues. Post Office wants to ensure those individuals, and others in a similar position, are able to join the scheme.
Therefore, paragraph 6 of the Eligibility Criteria will now be replaced with the following:
“6. You must not have been part of the group litigation against Post Office that settled in December 2019. The settlement reached by the parties was full and final. You must also not have entered into a settlement agreement with Post Office after the High Court’s judgment on Horizon Issues dated 16 December 2019.”
A copy of the full updated Eligibility Criteria can be found on the right-hand side of this page.
Any postmaster who considers that they are now eligible for the Historical Shortfall Scheme as a result of this change to the Eligibility Criteria may submit an application up to midnight GMT on 27 November 2020, (even though the Scheme has closed to general applications except in special circumstances). If you would like an application form, please contact the scheme mailbox at email@example.com or write to Post Office Historical Shortfall Scheme, PO Box 76882, London E1W 9RR. Please use Royal Mail as PO Box addresses can only accept post from Royal Mail and not from other carriers or couriers.
last updated: 2 October 2020