When a bank hits the headlines, it isn’t usually for good reasons. Such is the case for Metro Bank which has found itself the talk of the town.
Share prices took a massive dip amid concerns for its future, although the news has improved with a £925m investment package preventing it from collapsing.
But, while the talk in the media is all very high level with discussions around debt refinancing and capital raise, what does it mean if you’re a customer of a bank whose future looks at risk?
The primary concerns for customers in such situations include:
- Loss of deposits: The most immediate concern is the potential loss of deposits. If a bank were to collapse, customers fear they could lose the money they have in their accounts, including savings and current accounts.
- Disruption of banking services: A bank’s collapse can lead to a disruption in banking services that can affect routine transactions, such as payments, withdrawals and even accessing account information.
- Uncertainty and stress: Customers may experience considerable stress and uncertainty regarding the safety of their money. This can have a ripple effect on their financial stability and overall well-being.
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) plays a vital role in mitigating these concerns:
- Deposit protection: The FSCS provides protection for deposits held in UK banks and building societies. It ensures that customers will receive compensation up to a certain limit (currently £85,000 per person, per authorised firm) if their bank fails. This reassures customers that their money is safeguarded.
- Rapid access to funds: In the event of a bank's collapse, the FSCS strives to compensate eligible depositors promptly, helping them regain access to their funds without prolonged financial disruption.
- Stability and confidence: The FSCS helps maintain stability in the financial system by restoring confidence in the banking sector. This, in turn, ensures that customers continue to trust and use the banking services.
A bank's risk of collapse can have profound implications for its customers, potentially resulting in financial losses and disruptions. The FSCS acts as a safety net by providing deposit protection and compensation, assuaging customer concerns and contributing to the overall stability of the financial system.