Bank staff's lack of FSCS knowledge leaves customers exposed to potential savings risk

Do you know about Britain's financial compensation scheme? Bank staff don't seem to, reports Simon Read

People could be left significantly out of pocket if they follow their bank or building society's advice about ensuring their savings are protected by the Government's official compensation scheme.

The danger was highlighted by research from a consumer group which sent undercover staff into branches of the 13 largest finance providers in the country.

The investigators posed as new customers with £100,000 to deposit into a savings account. Shockingly not a single member of bank or building society staff told them about the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, or warned that only £85,000 of the £100,000 total would be protected in the event of a bank's collapse.

It means that anyone heeding the advice would leave part of their savings at risk of disappearing if there was another banking collapse.

Richard Lloyd, of Which? – the group that conducted the investigation – said: "It is inexcusable that bank staff can't give customers basic information about the compensation scheme if their bank goes bust.

"In the event of a collapse, this bad advice could cost people many thousands of pounds from their life savings. We hope this is a wake-up call to the banks that they need to improve staff training."

Even when prompted, most banks and building societies could not say what the correct amount protected by the FSCS is. Several admitted they had no idea and a third of HSBC workers got it wrong.

Meanwhile many staff didn't explain that if you have savings with more than one member of the same banking group, the full amount may not be covered. Only one provider, First Direct, managed to score more than half marks on the question.

Overall HSBC came bottom with a score of just 51 per cent of staff knowing about the FSCS while Yorkshire Building Society came top with 88 per cent, followed by Britannia Building Society (82 per cent) and Halifax (81 per cent).

The British Bankers Association said the results were disappointing. A spokesman said: "All employees are made aware of the FSCS and many banks have relevant training, so it is disappointing that more staff did not communicate the benefits of the scheme when asked."

It promised to make sure that customers are given accurate information on FSCS.

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

News
peoplePaper attempts to defend itself
Voices
voicesWe desperately need men to be feminists too
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    IT Project manager - Web E-commerce

    £65000 Per Annum Benefits + bonus: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: If you are...

    Trainee / Experienced Recruitment Consultants

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

    Day In a Page

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits