FSA tells banks how to display FSCS compensation arrangements

28 May 2012

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has told all UK banks, building societies and credit unions to prominently display posters and stickers in branches and on websites explaining which deposit guarantee scheme applies to their customers’ deposits. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) display rules will take effect from 31 August this year.

If customers are using the UK branch of a foreign bank from the European Economic Area, (EEA), the posters will have to set out that those customers are not covered by the UK’s FSCS. In this case they would have to specify which national scheme will provide protection. The move is designed to reassure retail customers that their savings up to £85,000 are protected under the scheme, introduced in the wake of the run on Northern Rock bank back in 2007. The ability to know exactly what customers have what on account and pay within seven days was a considerable logistical and technological customer relationship management (CRM) challenge for some UK banks, necessitating some ‘know your customer’ software investments.

Commenting on the formalisation of the wording for the FSCS, Andrew Bailey, FSA director of UK banks and building societies, said: “Customers need to feel confident about their money and to do this they need to know what the compensation limits are and which scheme would provide cover in the event of a bank, building society or credit union failure.

“Too many people assume that because their branch is located on a local high street in the UK, they are covered by the FSCS. This is not true for UK branches of EEA banks where the home country’s deposit guarantee scheme applies.

“Banks, building societies and credit unions will have to display these compensation stickers or posters in the branch window along with a sticker at the cashier’s window or desk and a further poster in a prominent position inside.”

The following wording has been prescribed by the FSA.

UK and non-EEA banks (including EEA subsidiaries):

For deposit takers with a single brand/ trading name:
Your eligible deposits with [insert name of firm] are protected up to a total of £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, the UK's deposit protection scheme. Any deposits you hold above the £85,000 limit are not covered.

For deposit takers with multiple brands/ trading names:
Your eligible deposits with [insert name of firm] are protected up to a total of £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, the UK's deposit protection scheme. This limit is applied to the total of any deposits you have with the following: [insert names of brands as appropriate]. Any total deposits you hold above the £85,000 limit between these brands are not covered.

Optional wording for Credit Unions with a single brand/ trading name:
“Your eligible deposits are protected up to a total of £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, the UK's deposit protection scheme. Any deposits you hold above the £85,000 limit are not covered.

UK branches of EEA banks:

Single brand/ trading name banks:
“Your eligible deposits with [insert name of firm] are protected up to a total of 100,000 euro by [insert name of compensation scheme] the [insert home state of scheme] deposit protection scheme and are not protected by the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Any deposits you hold above the 100,000 euro limit are not covered.

Multiple brands/ trading names Banks:
“Your eligible deposits with [insert name of firm] are protected up to a total of 100,000 euro by [insert name of compensation scheme] the [insert home state of scheme] deposit protection scheme and are not protected by the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme. This limit is applied to the total of any deposits you have with the following: [insert names of brands as appropriate]. Any total deposits above the 100,000 euro limit are not covered.

The FSA will be replaced by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in 2013, introducing a new post-crash regulatory structure into the UK but its rules will carry over. The Financial Services Bill currently undergoing parliamentary scrutiny in the UK is expected to receive royal assent and become law by the end of this year.

By Neil Ainger

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