How protected is your bank?

Published by Rebecca Atkinson on 15 October 2008.
Last updated on 08 May 2013

Tower of cards

Once upon a time, people picked savings accounts based on interest rate and access. But now, security is at the forefront of many people's minds.

In order to get the best protection possible for your savings, you need to understand the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) rules. These protect each individual per bank up to £85,000.

But the term "per bank" is not as transparent as it seems. It refers not to brand but actually to the type of authorisation the institution has with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

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Many banks in the UK are part of the same banking group, and in some cases are regulated by the FCA as one bank. If you have money in several different firms all authorised as the same bank by the FCA, then the FSCS will add up all your balances and only refund money up to £85,000.

If you are unsure about how your bank is authorised you can phone the FCA helpline on 0800 111 6768. Alternatively, you can check the FCA register - but bear in mind that this can be something of a minefield to navigate.

To make it easier for you, Moneywise has compiled a list of saving banks and building societies in the UK and how they are authorised. If your bank isn't on here, then get in touch below or try the FCA.

The authorisation refers to the savings side of the business - for example, SAGA is authorised on its own but its saving business is authorised as HBOS.

How to use the tables

Once you've found your savings bank, check out what name it is authorised as. Then, see what other banks share the same authorisation. If you have money in two of more banks with the same authorisation name (see examples below) and your total balance in all these accounts exceeds £85,000, then you should think about moving any money over that limit into a new account that has a seperate authorisation.

Check out the Moneywise round-up of the savings market and our round-up of the ISA market to see what top accounts are out there at the moment.

Main banking groups

Two banking groups to watch out for are HBOS and Santander and they both authorise several of their brands under their own name.

HBOS: The HBOS group of saving banks includes Halifax, Intelligent Finance, Bank of Scotland and Birmingham Midshires. It also supplies saving products through the AA and SAGA, and both these brands are authorised as HBOS.

In addition, the HBOS offers mortgages through its four banks (Birmingham Midshires through BM Solutions), as well as the now-closed brand, The Mortgage Business (TMB). HBOS also owns a 50% stake in Sainsbury's Finance, but to confuse matters Sainsbury's saving products have their own authorisation.

Santander: Spanish bank Santander is the owner of Abbey and Bradford & Bingley's saving business. It will also soon own Alliance & Leicester, and it also offers saving products through two other brands - ASDA Savings and Cahoot.

RBS: Unlike HBOS, Royal Bank of Scotland tends to authorise its group of companies separately. So, for example, NatWest - which is owned by RBS - has its owned authorisation as does Ulster Bank and First Active.

However, money saved with The One Account is actually held by RBS, so it does not have its own authorisation. And Virgin Money, despite having its own FCA authorisation, also transfers its savings to RBS - therefore, under FSCS rules, it counts as RBS.

BANK NAME

 

AUTHORISED AS...
AA Financial Services HBOS
Abbey
(and Abbey International)
 
Banco Santander
Alliance & Leicester
(and A&L International)
Alliance & Leciester
(signs indicate post-acquisition
by Satander A&L will keep its own authorisation)
 
ASDA Savings Banco Santander
Allied Irish Bank Allied Irish**
Anglo Irish Bank

Anglo Irish**

Bank of Cyprus
 

Bank of Cyprus***
(regulated by FSA
and Central Bank
of Cyprus)

Bank of Ireland (NI and GB)) Bank of Ireland**
Bank of Scotland HBOS
Barclays Barclays
Birmingham Midshires (also known
as BM Solutions)
 
HBOS
Bradford & Bingley (savings)
 
Banco Santander
Bristol & West Bank of Ireland**
 
C Hoare C Hoare
Cahoot Banco Santander
Capital One Savings Capital One
Cater Allen Private Bank Cater Allen
Cheltenham & Gloucester (and G&G
Channel Islands)
 
Lloyds TSB Group
Citibank Citigroup
Close Brothers Close Brothers
Clydesdale Bank Clydesdale (National
Bank of Australia)
Co-Operative (and Co-Op Guernsey)
 
Co-Operative Group
(pending merger
with Britannia)
Coutts & Company
 
Coutts
Egg
 
Egg
First Active First Active**
 
First Direct HSBC
 
First Trust (GB and NI)
 
Allied Irish Bank**
 
Halifax HBOS
 
HSBC (and HSBC International)
 
HSBC
 
ICICI Bank ICICI Bank
ING Direct

ING Direct***

Intelligent Finance HBOS
 
Investec Bank Investec Bank
Irish Nationwide Irish Nationwide**
 
Irish Permanent International Irish Life and Permanent**
 
Julian Hodge Julian Hodge
 
Liverpool Victoria (LV=) Liverpool Victoria
Friendly Society
 
Lloyds TSB (and Lloyds TSB Offshore)
 
Lloyds TSB
 
M&S Money Marks and Spencer
Financial Services
 
National Savings & Investment Treasury*
NatWest (and NatWest Offshore) NatWest
 
Northern Bank (GB and NI) Northern Bank
 
Northern Rock Northern Rock*
Post Office

Bank of Ireland*
 

Royal Bank of Scotland Royal Bank of
Scotland
 
SAGA (savings)
 
HBOS
 
Sainsbury's Bank Sainsbury's Bank
 
Scottish Widows Bank Scottish Widows
 
Smile The Co-Operative
 
Standard Chartered Jersey Standard Chartered
 
Standard Life Bank Standard Life
 
Tesco Personal Finance Tesco
 
The One Account (offset mortgages) Royal Bank of Scotland
Ulster Bank Ulster Bank**
 
Virgin Money (savings)
 
Royal Bank Scotland
Wesleyan Bank Wesleyan Bank
 
Woolwich Barclays
Yorkshire Bank Clydesdale Bank (National Australia Bank Group)
* = 100% guarantee by the Treasury
** = covered by the FSA and the Irish regulator
*** = covered by the FSA and another regulator

 

 

Building Society Authorised as...
Barnsley BS
 
Barnsley BS (pending merger with
Yorkshire BS)
 
Bath BS
 
Bath BS
 
Beverley BS Beverley BS
Britannia BS
 
Britannia BS
(pending merger with Co-Operative)
 
Buckinghamshire BS
 
Buckingham BS
 
Cambridge BS
 
Cambridge BS
 
Chelsea BS
 
Chelsea BS
 
Chesham BS
 
Chesham BS
 
Cheshire BS
 
Cheshire BS
(pending merger with Nationwide)
 
Chorley BS
 
Chorley BS
 
City of Derry BS City of Derry BS
Coventry BS
 
Coventry BS
 
Cumberland BS
 
Cumberland BS
 
Darlington BS
 
Darlington BS
 
Derbyshire BS
 
Derbyshire BS
(pending merger with Nationwide)
 
Dudley BS
 
Dudley BS
 
Dunferline BS
 
Dunferline BS
 
Ecology BS
 
Ecology BS
 
Furness BS
 
Furness BS
 
Hanley Economic BS
 
Hanley Economic BS
 
Harpenden BS
 
Harpenden BS
 
Hinckley & Rugby BS
 
Hinckley & Rigby BS
 
Holmesdale BS Holmesdale BS
Ipswich BS
 
Ipswich BS
 
Kent Reliance BS
 
Kent Reliance BS
 
Leeds BS
 
Leeds BS
 
Leek United BS
 
Keek United BS
 
Loughborough BS
 
Loughborough BS
 
Manchester BS
 
Manchester BS
 
The Mansfield BS
 
The Mansfield BS
 
Market Harborough BS
 
Market Harborough BS
 
Marsden BS
 
Marsden BS
 
The Melton Mowbray BS
 
Melton Mowbray BS
 
Monmouthshire BS
 
Monmouthshire BS
 
National Counties BS
 
National Counties BS
 
Nationwide BS
 
Nationwide BS
 
Newbury BS
 
Newbury BS
 
Newcastle BS
 
Newcastle BS
 
Norwich & Peterborough BS
 
Norwich & Peterborough BS
 
Nottingham BS
 
Nottingham BS
 
Principality BS
 
Principality BS
 
Progressive BS
 
Progressive BS
 
Saffron BS
 
Saffron BS
 
Scarborough BS
 
Scarborough BS
 
Scottish BS
 
Scottish BS
 
Shepshed BS
 
Shepshed BS
 
Skipton BS (and Skipton Guernsey) Skipton BS
 
Stafford Railway BS
 
Stafford Railway BS
 
Stroud & Swindon BS
 
Stroud& Swindon BS
 
Swansea BS
 
Swansea BS
 
Teachers BS
 
Teachers BS
 
Tipton & Coseley BS Tipton & Coseley BS
 
Vernon BS Vernon BS
West Bromwich BS
 
West Bromwich BS
Yorkshire BS Yorkshire BS

 

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