Angus Brewer Business & Tax Consultant

You’ve worked hard for your money, so you need to be confident it will be safe wherever you choose to put it.

Due to the current economic climate, we’re receiving questions from several clients about how they should be managing their funds in bank accounts for ultimate security. Fortunately, there are several safeguards that you can put in place to protect your hard-earned money*.  

Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)

If you bank with a regulated UK institution, then your money (or some of it) will be protected under the FSCS in the unfortunate event that the bank or building society goes bust.

Under this scheme, the first £85,000 of your savings is protected and applies to business accounts as well as personal. For a personal joint account it is extended to £170,000.  However, you should understand that this limit applies per institution and not per account. Therefore, guidance from financial experts is that if you have substantial savings, either in the business or personally, to ‘spread the risk’ across different institutions, and to not hold more than £85,000 with any one bank. 

You should note that some banking groups operate several different subsidiaries but share just one banking licence. This means that if you hold savings with two different institutions, but they aren’t registered with the FCA separately, you will still only be protected up to £85,000.  For example, First Direct is owned by HSBC.  So, if you had £80,000 with First Direct, and £10,000 with HSBC, you would have a total of £90,000 with HSBC Bank Plc, which means £5,000 would not be covered by FSCS.

You can check if your money is protected here: https://www.fscs.org.uk/check-your-money-is-protected/

What can you do internally in your business to protect your money?

Alongside the FSCS protection, it’s vital to ensure your business bank accounts are managed effectively by a team you can trust… 

Bookkeeping 

The law requires that every single transaction be traceable and transparent. You should keep track of all transactions and archive all your records for the required amount of time.  Ensure your bookkeeping and finance team are competent, and reach out for more training and help if you have concerns around this.  If you are not experienced in this area, consider turning to an accountant for help and advice

Cash management

You should only authorise staff you can trust completely to access your business bank accounts and perform transactions. You may also want to consider dual authorisation for making payments, especially if you have any concerns.  Also, be sure to monitor your bank statements on a regular basis and keep a record of receipts to ensure that cashflow is managed effectively. 

Additional Resources

Here are a few additional resources to help you keep your money safe: 
https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/compensation-if-your-bank-or-building-society-goes-bust 
https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/prudential-regulation/authorisations/financial-services-compensation-scheme
https://www.fscs.org.uk/what-we-cover/banks-building-societies/
https://www.fscs.org.uk/check-your-money-is-protected/
https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/savings/safe-savings/

*This article is not intended to provide financial advice. Before proceeding with any of the above, we recommend that you obtain independent financial advice from an FCA authorised provider.