Our mission and strategy

Who we are and how we help

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We aim to build and maintain the trust of everyone we work with through rigorously independent decisions, efficient operations, resilience in tackling financial failures and always putting our customers first.

We don't just protect consumers with claims against failed firms, we promote awareness and understanding of FSCS protection, learn lessons and work with our stakeholders to help prevent future costs and failures.

For consumers

FSCS provides protection when firms fail - reassuring people in a crisis and enabling people to buy regulated financial products with confidence.

For customers

FSCS helps put people back on track by offering a claims service that is fast and easy for our customers to use, offering support when our customers ask for it.

For industry

FSCS operates as efficiently as possible and contributes to the prevention of future failure. FSCS recovers as much as possible from failed firms to offset the costs of compensation which is funded by the industry.

For regulators

FSCS is ready to respond to major firm failures and crises and works with the regulatory family to support the orderly resolution of failing firms. FSCS collaborates with the regulators and industry to reduce the risk and impact of future failure.

Our story so far

Our story so far
  • Following the 2008 financial crisis FSCS created the capability to pay out savers in failed banks, building societies and credit unions in under seven days.
  • Since 2011 we have paid out over £60 million to customers of approximately 50 failed credit unions and one small bank.
  • Our protection of consumers' money, particularly deposits, is better known than ever.
  • In 2014 our five-year vision set out seven key imperatives, which continue to be important to FSCS into the 2020s. We have delivered against these imperatives.

Modernising our service

  • Updated claims handling service.
  • Launched online service - 95% apply online now.
  • Signed new strategic outsourcing partnership to transform our service in the 2020s.

Improving value for money

  • Significantly reduced our claims processing time and cost.
  • On a like for like basis claims handling costs have reduced by 23% (£5.2 million) over the last five years.

Achieving excellence as a creditor

  • Recovered £20 billion from the 2008 bank failures and repaid all £20.5 billion borrowed from HMT in the same year.
  • Returned £375 million from other recoveries to the industry in the last five years.

Diversifying compensation routes

  • Successfully provided continuity of cover for a number of failed insurers.
  • Automatically returned cash and assets of the clients of insolvent broker deals.

Deepening our contingency planning

  • Integrated the FSCS into Authorities planning for future failures.
  • Established an efficient and effective service to support fast payouts.

Engaging our people

  • Maintained accreditation with Best Companies to Work For and Investors in People.
  • Achieved recognition in multiple national awards.
  • Introduced Smarter Working - download toolkit (pdf 0.1MB)

Raising awareness

  • Increased public awareness of our deposits protection to a record 80%.

Some of our key statistics that show the impact of delivering our five-year plan

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In the last five years claims handling costs reduced by over


The key challenges as we move into the 2020s

Customer expectations

  • Customer expectations are rising - companies are harnessing digital technology to offer customers quicker, easier, more personal services.
  • Financial markets are changing fast - new ways to save and invest. Financial protection and education will need to keep pace with complexity and innovation.

Choice, complexity & vulnerability

  • People are expected to make more sophisticated financial decisions, particularly about retirement savings - with this comes greater risk and the need for better information.
  • Approximately half of UK adults show characteristics of potential vulnerability - low financial knowledge, low financial resilience, poor health or life events impacting financial well-being.

Technology & data security

  • Pace of technology change creates opportunities to improve ease and speed of service, at a lower cost to levy payers.
  • Commitment to keeping personal data secure in a technology-driven world remains critical.
  • Continual challenge to simplify our online service, especially for complex claims.

Prevention as well as protection

  • Our industry stakeholders recognise the role that FSCS protection can play in giving consumers the confidence to seek independent financial advice and buy financial products.
  • FSCS must also be proactive in sharing its insights and intelligence with the regulators in order to reduce the risk of future failure.
  • Since its establishment in 2001, FSCS has paid out hundreds of millions in compensation as a result of firm failures, often precipitated by the mis-selling of products unsuitable for mainstream investors.
  • FSCS paid £405 million in compensation in 2017/18. Of this, roughly £185 million was accounted for by complex mis-selling claims against pension and investment advisers. Our analysis suggests that, without intervention, compensation costs may continue to grow strongly over the next three years, driven primarily by escalating pension claims.

Our strategy


FSCS must be able to protect consumers in a crisis or in the event of major failures to maintain public confidence and financial stability.



FSCS is known and trusted for protection that puts people back on track through outstanding customer experience.



FSCS collaborates with our regulatory and industry stakeholders to prevent future failure and to reduce compensation costs.



The full range of FSCS protection is known about and trusted.


What we are aiming for

We shall respond to large and complex firm failures, whilst maintaining our seven-day pay-out for savers in banks, building societies and credit unions. We will actively contribute to increasingly effective resolution when firms fail.

Why this matters

FSCS needs to contribute to public confidence and financial stability by being ready to respond when called upon across the full range of protected products.

Our approach

  • Maintain well-tested contingency plans, backed by necessary capabilities and robust customer information.
  • Collaborate with industry to improve the customer information we rely on for payouts.
  • Improve our ability to respond quickly to investment and insurance failures.
  • Work with industry and regulators to improve resolution arrangements.

What we are aiming for

FSCS is known and trusted for protection that puts people back on track through outstanding customer experience.

Why this matters

Customer expectations are rising. The service our customers receive must meet their expectations in terms of speed, accessibility and ease of use, in order to maintain consumer trust and confidence.

Our approach

  • Exploit digital technology to create the service our customers expect, at lower cost to our levy payers.
  • Improve the speed of our service by eliminating time and process inefficiencies, particularly with third parties.
  • Exploit our new strategic partnership - by drawing on our partner's expertise, scale and experience.
  • Provide continuity of cover for policyholders in failed insurance companies.

What we are aiming for

We shall raise awareness of FSCS protection across all of the products and services we protect, particularly retirement savings products.

Why this matters

Awareness of, and trust in, FSCS protection maintains confidence in a crisis. Awareness also helps to inform people's choices by increasing their confidence in buying protected services and understanding the risks of unprotected products.

Our approach

  • Partner with the industry to raise awareness of FSCS protection across all protected products and services, focusing on retirement savings initially.
  • Engage with consumers and provide information to help people understand protection and make informed decisions.
  • Encourage customers of failed firms to come directly to FSCS with their claim.
  • Work with our stakeholders to provide joined-up and easy to access information about FSCS protection.

What we are aiming for

We shall collaborate with the regulators and industry to prevent future failure and to reduce future compensation costs.

Why this matters

FSCS compensation costs are rising fast - we project that compensation may rise from £405 million in 2017/18, mainly driven by escalating pensions claims. These costs put pressure on firms' finances and are passed on to consumers.

Our approach

  • Commit to joint action with the regulators and industry to identify and address the root causes of mis-selling and other conduct issues which drive failure and compensation costs.
  • Ensure consumers are alerted more quickly to vulnerabilities and risks as they emerge.
  • Work with our partners to improve co-ordination across government, industry and regulators, ensuring insights and intelligence are generated and acted on.
  • Feed back lessons learnt as a creditor and from recoveries activity, including working with the insolvency and insurance markets.
  • Develop FSCS' own capability to provide actionable intelligence.