Know your rights - Financial Conduct Authority

Banking: Know your rights

Last Modified: 12/09/2014
Find out your rights when opening or using a bank account, and how to solve some common problems.

Millions of us use banks and building societies each day without anything going wrong. However, when problems do arise it helps to know what you can do to challenge your bank.

Where we use ‘bank’ in this section, it covers both banks and building societies, as the same rules apply to both. See below for more on how to use this guide.

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Step 1: Keep evidence

Keep records of all transactions and contact with your bank. That way, if anything goes wrong you can back up your case with written proof.

Step 2: Always ask questions

Not sure why money has gone into or out of your bank account? Wondering why your interest rate has dropped? Problems like these are common, so be prepared to ask your bank questions.

Step 3: Don't be put off

If the person you are speaking to cannot help, ask to speak to a manager.

You can make a complaint to your bank if you are not happy with the way it deals with a problem. If you are not satisfied with their response you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service. Find out more about how to complain.

How to use this guide

Banks must comply with certain high-level rules. Guidance has been issued by the FCA and the banking industry showing some of the ways (but not the only ways) they can do so. Where this guide refers to the guidance, we say banks ‘should’ rather than ‘must’ do things. Banks may comply with the high-level rules in ways we do not mention in the guide.

We try to cover most situations, but there may be exceptions. If an exception applies to your question or complaint, your bank should be able to explain why. The bank accounts covered in this guide include current, savings, card-based and instant-access accounts and ISAs.

This section is a summary of general information only for consumers of UK retail banking services and does not take account of individual circumstances. This is not a substitute for legal advice and should not be relied on as such. Consider speaking to a professional adviser when making decisions about your own circumstances.

We always try to ensure the information is accurate before publication. From time to time we need to amend or update it, for example because of changes in the law. Please check the current position before you take action.

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Financial Ombudsman Service

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