Business

Protection levels for savers to be publicised

SEPTEMBER 15 2007: Customers of Northern Rock queue outside the Kingston branch
Image caption If Northern Rock had gone bust in 2007 the FSCS would have offered compensation of £31,700

Bank, building society, and credit union branches will have to display posters and stickers about which compensation scheme applies to them.

The publicity was first suggested in December and will start on 31 August.

Savers with money in UK banks, and some foreign banks, will be covered by the £85,000 limit of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

People using branches of banks from the European Economic Area (EEA) would have to rely on the bank's national scheme.

"Too many people assume that because their branch is located on a local high street in the UK, they are covered by the FSCS," said Andrew Bailey, the FSA's director of UK banks and building societies.

"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," he added.

Savers with money in a UK branch of a bank from within the EEA will be covered by the equivalent of 100,000 euros, rather than the UK limit of £85,000 .

That means, at current exchange rates, that their protected savings limit is lower than the UK one, at £80,170.

The FSCS has paid out £26bn in compensation since 2001, to more than 4.5 million people.

The scheme is funded by the financial services industry through an annual levy.

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