As of last night the 238 chain stores are now under the control of London firm Deloitte, following a refusal by the company’s creditors – state-backed Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds – to keep loaning money to keep it afloat.

And the only way commentators believe gift cards and vouchers will be valid is if a “white knight” investor steps in at the last minute to save the company.

The company was struggling before Christmas and admitted it may find itself in breach of its bank loans.

The Royal Bank of Scotland said in a statement: “The banking group led by RBS and Lloyds Banking Group have provided significant support to HMV over the past two years, as it has sought to reshape and restructure its business in the face of extremely difficult trading conditions.

‘Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of management, lenders and suppliers, it has not proven possible to avoid a formal insolvency process.’

Also at the weekend, camera chain Jessops went into administration with 1300 people losing jobs.

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