Following the financial crisis of 2008 when a number of big British banks came close to collapsing, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) was strengthened by the government. As such, the FSCS 100% guarantees the first £85,000 of a person’s cash savings per banking licence in total, including interest. This means that a couple with a joint account holding up to £170,000 will have every penny of this covered.

But what does ‘per banking licence’ mean? Simply put, one banking licence can cover a number of different banks, building societies or brands. It’s important therefore to spread your cash across more than one provider, as it could mean some of your hard-earned money isn’t as safe as you think in the event of a future collapse.

With that in mind, below is a list of the biggest banks and building societies in the UK and all the brands which fall under their banking licence. That means if you hold more than £85,000 across different brands but under the same licence, you could be in a position to lose out should the worst happen.

HBOS (Halifax/Bank of Scotland group):


Bank of Scotland

Birmingham Midshires


Intelligent Finance


Lloyds Banking Group*:

Cheltenham and Gloucester

Lloyds Bank

*HBOS was acquired by Lloyds Bank, but both HBOS and Lloyds Banking Group have continued to operate under separate banking licences.





Barclays Direct (formerly ING Direct)

Standard Life



First Direct


Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)**:




Ulster Bank:

Ulster Bank

Coutts & Co:


**NatWest, Ulster Bank and Coutts are all subsidiaries of RBS, but have their own separate banking licences. As such, someone with accounts in each of these banks would be covered for up to £85,000 in each bank.

Santander UK:



The Co-operative Bank:

Britannia BS


The Co-operative Bank

Bank of Ireland UK:

Bank of Ireland UK

Post Office

Clydesdale Bank PLC:

Clydesdale Bank

Yorkshire Bank

Sainsbury’s Bank:

Sainsbury’s Bank

Tesco Bank:

Tesco Bank

Virgin Money:

Virgin Money

Nationwide BS:

Cheshire BS

Derbyshire BS

Dunfermline BS

Nationwide BS

Yorkshire BS:

Barnsley BS

Chelsea BS


Norwich and Peterborough BS

Yorkshire BS

Coventry BS:

Coventry BS

Stroud and Swindon BS

Skipton BS:

Chesham BS (renamed Skipton BS)

Scarborough BS (renamed Skipton BS)

Skipton BS

So, what about banks outside the UK? Whilst most banks which accept British savings are not covered by the FSCS, some within the European Economic Area are covered by their home country’s compensation scheme through the ‘savings passport’ scheme. One of the most prominent examples is Triodos Bank in the Netherlands, which is covered by the Dutch equivalent of the FSCS up to €100,000 per person. There are also some international banks which are covered by the FSCS, including:

Axis Bank UK


State Bank of India UK

National Savings & Investments (NS&I) is also covered by the FSCS – but as it’s owned by the government, the expectation is that all deposits into NS&I (both up to and over £85,000) would be covered apart from in the most extreme financial circumstances.