Hannah Maundrell, Editor in Chief of money.co.uk, comments:

"Although 95% of savers should still be fully protected, the other 5% have a lot to lose if their bank or building society goes under.

"While this should be quite simple to navigate, it's made complicated by the fact FSCS cover is shared between banks that operate under the same FCA licence. For example, HSBC and First Direct fall under the same umbrella so share combined protection.

"The government seems to be focusing on privatising its assets; they were left shouldering a heavy load after the last financial crisis so we can't rely on them to bail out any bank, building society or credit union that fails again so you need to make sure your money is fully covered by the FSCS.

"If you find yourself with an inflated bank balance because of a house sale or the like you can rest easy: savings of up to 1 million should still be covered for up to six months.

"If you're not careful, you could quite easily leave yourself vulnerable, so if you have more than 75,000 in savings anywhere, make sure your money is fully protected. If not, look at moving the excess to a safe haven.

"You should be able to shift any surplus to a new home without penalty even if you're locked into a fixed term account. Please see our guide to FSCS protection for more information."

Financial Services Compensation Scheme - The Basics

Q

Are my savings covered?

A

Yes. The FSCS cover up to 75,000, of any savings you hold in each official UK financial institution from 1st Jan 2016.

Q

How much will the FSCS cover up to?

A

1 million of your savings will be protected for 6 months following new rules announced in July 2015.

Q

How can I protect my savings?

A

It's good to spread your savings across more than one financial institution so you don't hold more than 75,000 with just one, meaning the FSCS will guarantee all your savings are safe.

Q

What about joint accounts?

A

Joint accounts get double the cover because each account holder is entitled for compensation up to the maximum FSCS limit.

Q

Can I check a bank's registration?

A

Yes. The FCA website is the where you will find the best records for UK banks, building societies and other financial institutions.

Main institutions covered under a single licence:

  • Bank of Cyprus UK

  • Bank of Ireland UK, Post Office

  • Bank of Scotland, Halifax, Intelligent Finance, Birmingham Midshires, Saga, Aviva, BM Savings

  • Barclays

  • Citibank

  • Clydesdale Bank, Yorkshire Bank

  • The Co-operative Bank, Smile, Britannia

  • Coventry Building Society, Stroud & Swindon

  • HSBC, First Direct

  • Lloyds Bank, Lloyds Bank Private Banking

  • Nationwide, Cheshire Building Society, Derbyshire Building Society, Dunfermline Building Society

  • NatWest

  • Royal Bank of Scotland

  • Sainsbury's Finance

  • Santander (previously: Abbey), Alliance & Leicester, Cahoot

  • Skipton Building Society, Scarborough Investments Direct

  • Tesco Bank

  • TSB

  • Virgin Money

  • Yorkshire Building Society, Barnsley Building Society, Chelsea Building Society, Egg, Norwich & Peterborough Building Society