Who owns whom?

21 December 2010

Before the banking crisis, most savers wouldn't have thought twice about putting their money in a bank or building society account. But the credit crunch changed all this - so how do you keep your savings safe now?

Read on to find out.

What protection do I have?

If you have your savings with a UK bank or building society it will be registered with the City regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Many overseas banks which offer products to British savers are also registered with the FCA - this will probably be stated on their websites but if you are unsure and can't find the information, give the bank a call or check on the FCA's website. If the firm is regulated, you, the customer, has protection in the unlikely event of that institution going bust.

You are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) up to £85,000. This protection ceiling was increased at the start of 2011 to bring it in line with the rest of Europe, where savers receive €100,000 of protection. It means the first £85,000 you have in savings (£170,000 for joint accounts) is totally guaranteed.

However, that protection applies per institution, not per account, so if you have more than £85,000 with any one bank or building society, it is worth spreading your money around between different providers. And because some institutions operate a number of different brands, you also need to know whether all brands are registered separately with the FCA, or whether there is a single registration for the entire group. If it is the latter, you will only have £85,000 protection across all that institution's brands.

For example, Lloyds Banking Group, which was formed by the merger of Lloyds TSB and HBOS has two banking licences. But to complicate matters there are a number of brands that operate under the HBOS licence: Halifax, Bank of Scotland, BM Savings, Intelligent Finance, The AA and Saga. This means that if you have a savings account with Halifax, and another with BM Savings, only £85,000 is protected. However, if you had a Halifax account and an account with Lloyds Bank, you could protect £170,000 of your cash savings because they are registered separately with the FCA.

The bank and building society mergers we've seen over the last few years have made things even more complicated.

And to compound things further, some providers that operate here in the UK aren't registered with the FCA. Instead, you'll be protected by the compensation scheme that operates in their country of origin. For example, if you have a savings account with Triodos Bank, you're protected by the Dutch compensation scheme to €100,000.



To help you through this complicated maze, we've compiled the table below which shows you what protection you have with the main savings providers that operate in the UK.

Do any institutions offer total protection?

Yes. Your money is totally secure if you invest with National Savings & Investments because it is backed by the government. However, this protection comes at a cost as their accounts are not paying the best rates. If you want to maximise returns therefore, and have more than £85,000 in savings, it's worth spreading your money between different institutions.
How can I spread my money around safely?

You need to know which institutions own which. Here we give a rundown of the major savings providers so you can spread your money around and ensure that all of your savings are totally protected. The information in this article was last updated on September 9, 2013.




Parent company & country of origin

Maximum level of protection

(formerly Abbey)
Alliance & Leicester
Bradford & Bingley

Banco Santander, Spain

£85,000 (in total)

Anglo Irish Bank

Anglo Irish Bank plc, Ireland

€100,000 (about £85,000) will be guaranteed under the Irish Deposit Guarantee Scheme. Remaining amount covered by the Irish Government's Credit Institutions (Eligible Liabilities Guarantee) Scheme 2009

Bank of Baroda

Bank of Baroda, India


 Bank of Cyprus UK

Bank of Cyprus, Cyprus

Cypriot Deposit Protection Scheme covers up to €100,000 (about £85,000)

Bank of Scotland
The AA
Birmingham Midshires/BM Savings
Intelligent Finance

Lloyds Banking Group, UK

£85,000 (in total)

Bank of Ireland
Bristol & West

Bank of Ireland, Ireland

€100,000 (about £85,000) will be guaranteed under the Irish Deposit Guarantee Scheme. Remaining amount covered by the Irish Government's Credit Institutions (Eligible Liabilities Guarantee) Scheme 2009


Barclays Bank plc, UK

£85,000 (in total)

Cater Allen Private Bank

Banco Santander, Spain



Citigroup Inc. USA



Close Brothers

Close Brothers Group plc, UK


Clydesdale Bank
Yorkshire Bank

National Bank Group, Australia

£85,000 (in total)

Coventry Building Society
Stroud & Swindon Building Society

Coventry Building Society, UK 5

£85,000 (in total) 5


Citigroup Inc. USA


FirstSave Bank of Nigeria 

Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria


First Direct 

HSBC Bank plc, UK

£85,000 (in total)


ICICI Bank Limited, India



 ING Direct
Kaupthing Edge 2
Heritable Bank 2

ING Direct N.V, Netherlands

Netherlands Depositors' Compensation Scheme covers up to €100,000 (about £85,000)
 2 ING Direct took over Kaupthing Edge & Heritable Bank's online deposit accounts in 2008

Investec Private Bank

Investec Bank plc, UK


Julian Hodge Bank

Julian Hodge Bank


Kent Reliance Building Society

OneSavings Bank plc, UK


Laiki Bank

Marfin Popular Bank (Cyprus)

Central Bank of Cyprus Deposit Protection Scheme covers up to €100,000 (about £85,000)

 Leeds Building Society

 Leeds Building Society, UK


Lloyds Bank

Lloyds Banking Group, UK


Manchester Building Society

Manchester Building Society, UK


Mansfield Building Society

Mansfield Building Society, UK


 Market Harborough Building Society

Market Harborough Building Society, UK 



 Marks & Spencer Money

Marks & Spencer Financial Services plc & HSBC, UK


National Savings & Investments

Bank of England/HM Treasury

All deposits backed by UK Government


Royal Bank of Scotland plc, UK



Cheshire Building Society
Derbshire Buidling Society
Dunfermline Buidling Society

Nationwide Building Society, UK 3

£85,000 (in total) 3

Newcastle Building Society 

Newcastle Building Society, UK


Northern Rock Virgin Money

Northern Rock plc, UK 4

£85,000 (in total) 4

Norwich & Peterborough Building Society

Norwich & Peterborough Building Society, UK


Building Society

Building Society, UK


Post Office

 Bank of Ireland (UK) plc, EIRE


Principality Building Society

Principality Building Society, UK


Progressive Building Society

Progressive Building Society, UK


Punjab National Bank

Punjab National Bank, India (PNB)


Rothschild Reserve

N M Rothschild & Sons Limited, UK


Royal Bank of Scotland
Direct Line

Royal Bank of Scotland plc, UK

£85,000 (in total)

Saffron Building Society

Saffron Building Society, UK


Sainsbury's Bank

Sainsbury's Bank plc & Lloyds Banking Group plc, UK


Scarborough Building Society 3

Skipton Building Society, UK 3


£85,000 3


Scottish Widows

Lloyds Banking Group plc, UK


Secure Trust Bank

Arbuthnot Banking Group plc, UK


Shepshed Building Society

Shepshed Building Society, UK


Skipton Building Society
Scarborough Building Society
Capital One Bank
Chesham Building Society

Skipton Building Society, UK 3

£85,000 (in total) 3

Standard Life Bank

Barclays Bank plc, UK


State Bank of India

State Bank of India, India



The Co-operative Bank
Britannia Building Society

The Co-operative Bank plc, UK 4

£85,000 (in total) 3


Teachers Building Society

Teachers Building Society, UK 


Tesco Personal Finance

Tesco plc, UK




Lloyds Banking Group


Turkish Bank (UK) Ltd.

Turkish Bank Limited, Turkey


United Trust Bank

United Trust Bank, UK


West Bromwich Building Society

West Bromwich Building Society, UK


Yorkshire Building Society
Chelsea Building Society
Barnsley Building Society

Yorkshire Building Society 6, UK


£85,000 (in total)  6

1 Akbank N. V. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Akbank T.A.S, Turkey.
2 ING Direct took over Kaupthing Edge & Heritable Bank's online deposit accounts in 2008.
3 Cheshire Building Society, Derbyshire Building Society and Dunfermline Building Society are trading divisions of Nationwide Building Society. Skipton and Scarborough building societies merged on March 30, 2009. Skipton Building Society bought the savings book of Capital One Bank in June 2009. Britannia Building Society is a trading name used by The Co-operative Bank plc.
4 Deposits in Virgin Money branded accounts are deposits with Northern Rock plc and are covered by
NorthernRock's FSCS membership.
Coventry Building Society and Stroud and Swindon Building Society completed a merger on September 1, 2010.
6 Barnsley Building Society is a trading name of Yorkshire Building Society. Chelsea Building Society and Yorkshire Building Society merged on April 1, 2010.


The above list is not inclusive. For further information visit the FSA website.

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Clare Francis


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