Findel, the mail order and educational material retailer, has agreed a deal with regulators to pay £12.5m in compensation to around 330,000 customers who were sold insurance that “offered little or no value”.

Expectations of a charge drove the company to a £1.7m annual loss last year, but the final deal, agreed with the Financial Conduct Authority, was less than the company had set aside.

Findel’s Express Gifts business sold “property insurance” and “purchase protection insurance” for all products from two of its brands between January 2005 and May 2015, but agreed with the FCA that the products “did not provide adequate value” because they covered items which would not generally be insured.

Jonathan Davidson, FCA director of supervision for retail and authorisations, said:

We expect firms to identify where insurance products of little or no value have been sold to customers and take appropriate action. There is a responsibility on firms, whether they are responsible for the design or the distribution of these products, to ensure the products offer value for their customers.

Findel found itself in the spotlight last summer after Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct built up a near-30 per cent stake in the company and repeatedly tried to win himself a seat on the company’s board.

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