How to ensure your money is protected if a bank, building society or credit union fails.
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) can pay compensation if a bank, building society or credit union is unable to pay claims against it.
The deposit protection limit is:
- up to £85,000 per eligible person, per bank, building society or credit union
- up to £170,000 for joint accounts
The FSCS can protect certain qualifying temporary high balances up to £1 million for up to 6 months from when the amount was first deposited.
The FSCS will normally compensate people automatically.
To ensure all your money is covered, follow these 4 steps.
Step 1: Know the deposit protection limits
Most money deposited with a bank, building society or credit union is protected under the FSCS up to a limit of £85,000.
This applies to money deposited in a:
- current account
- savings account
- cash ISA
- savings bond
The FSCS limit applies to each person, per authorised institution. This means each person in a joint account is protected, so two people would be covered for double the limit (£170,000) per authorised institution.
For a stocks and shares ISA, the compensation limits can be different depending on who you take out an ISA with. Find out more.
Step 2: Beware of multiple brands
The FSCS compensation limit applies to all deposits you have with an authorised institution, which may include several banking and building society brands.
If you have multiple deposit accounts with one bank, building society or credit union – or several accounts with different brands that come under the same authorisation – you will only be protected under the FSCS up to a total of £85,000.
You can check the tables of the main deposit-taking banking and savings brands and building society brands to find out whether your money is held with a brand that shares its authorisation.
These tables show:
- the main banking and building society brands
- which authorised institution owns them or holds them as a subsidiary
- their firm reference number (FRN), which shows how they are authorised
- other brands that share the same authorisation and FRN, and therefore FSCS cover
Step 3: Check the Financial Services Register
The tables don't include all banking or building society brands covered by the FSCS, or any credit unions.
If your bank or building society is not included, you should ask where it is authorised and how your money is protected
You can also check the FS Register to find out whether your bank or building society has several brands under the same authorisation.
Search the FS Register under ‘financial services firms’, then click ‘names’ for a list of brands used by the authorised institution.
Step 4: Confirm cover for foreign banks
Many foreign-owned banks that operate in the UK must be authorised by us. Money deposited with these banks will be covered by the FSCS.
However, a bank based in the European Economic Area (EEA) can offer certain products or services in the UK and other EEA countries while being authorised in its home country. (The EEA includes the EU states, plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.)
If you deposit money with an EEA bank it will be covered by the compensation scheme of the bank’s home country rather than the FSCS.
This can be up to a limit of €100,000 per person in EU countries.
The banking and savings brands table does not include banks authorised abroad.
Check the FS Register to see if a bank is authorised in the EEA (it will say ‘EEA authorised’). To find out if other brands come under the same authorisation, click on ‘names’ for the list.
Find out what protection you have if you have dealt with a firm based abroad.