The Financial Services Compensation Scheme ("FSCS") is the UK's statutory fund of last resort, and was set up under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 in order to provide compensation to customers of financial services firms who are unable, or are likely to be unable, to meet the claims against them ("in default").
We can only provide compensation when the firm is or was authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and/or the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) (or the predecessor bodies such as the Financial Services Authority (FSA)), (a "firm"). The types of claim that FSCS can protect relate to:
- Life and general insurance policies
- Investment business (on or after 28 August 1988)
- Advice and arranging of mortgage business (on or after 31 October 2004)
- Insurance broking (for business conducted on or after 14 January 2005)
- Debt management (from 1 April 2018)
- FSCS's protection is governed by the PRA and the FCA's rules. The PRA's rules cover claims in relation to deposits as well as life and general insurance provision and are set out in the Depositor Protection and Policyholder Protection parts of the PRA Rulebook, opens in a new window. The FCA's rules cover the remaining categories of claim. These are set out in the Compensation Sourcebook (the "COMP Rules") in the Redress section of the FCA Handbook, opens in a new window.
- Although FSCS was set up by the Government, we are funded by authorised financial services firms that are still trading. The levy rules are made by the PRA and FCA. Our service is free and available to individuals and small businesses (and all claimants in a few certain cases).
- We will only collect and process your personal information in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) ("GDPR"), the Privacy and Electronic Communication (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 and any other applicable data protection legislation.
- using our website;
- submitting a claim to us, including when you submit a claim to us via our online portal (the "Portal");
- contacting us with a query or to make a complaint;
- paying our levy; and/or
- contacting us to request a copy of our publications,
together, the "Services".
Who we are?
- Details of how to contact us are set out in section  below.
When do we collect your information?
We may collect, store and process certain personal information that you disclose to us when you use our Services. This includes:
- If you submit a claim to us, including if you submit a claim using our online Portal.
- If you contact us by post, telephone or e-mail, for example to ask us for an application form, make an enquiry or ask for a copy of one of our publications.
Processing your data - the legal bases we rely on
- Under data protection law, there are a number of different reasons for which FSCS can collect and process your personal data. FSCS will only use your personal information where we have a proper reason to do so.
We have explained below the legal bases which FSCS may rely on:
- Public task - FSCS is the UK's statutory fund of last resort. As a result, in some circumstances we will process your data on the basis that this is necessary in the exercise of our statutory authority, or for the performance of a task which is in the public interest. For example, this will apply where we are processing your data in order to consider your compensation claim, or in order to pursue recoveries against firms or others.
- Legal obligation - In some circumstances, we may need to process your data in order to comply with our legal and regulatory obligations, for example when preparing our annual report and accounts. In some circumstances FSCS also has a regulatory obligation to collect levies or pursue recoveries against firms or others.
- Legitimate interest - We may need to process your data in order to pursue our legitimate interests, if we are using your data in a way that might reasonably be expected as part of running our business and which has minimal impact on your rights or interests. For example, this may apply where we are processing your data for internal training purposes in order to improve our Services.
- Consent - FSCS will not generally rely on consent as a basis for processing your personal data, other than in relation to information you provide when giving us feedback for customer satisfaction purposes. For example, if you respond to a survey regarding your experience of making a claim to FSCS, we may rely on consent for processing the personal data you provide in that survey.
- We have explained in section  the information we collect and how we use it, by reference to these legal bases.
What information do we collect and how do we use it?
Please note that we may process your personal data on the basis of more than one lawful ground. Please contact us if you would like any additional information about the specific legal ground we are relying on in order to process your personal data, where more than one basis is identified below.
- Using our Website and Portal
When you use our Website or Portal, we may collect, store and process:
Details of your computer's internet protocol address and session information, such as the duration of your visit and the type of browser used.
We use this information for system administration and technology support, and to provide statistics which help us to evaluate the use of, and improve, our Website and Portal.
We may also use this information as part of our use of Google Analytics. This includes using the Google Analytics User ID feature for capturing information regarding your engagement with and use of our Website and Services, including session information. We use your data in this way so that we can make improvements to our Website and Portal.
- We process this data on the basis that we have a legitimate interest in providing the best possible service.
If you use our Portal to submit a claim, we will also collect data regarding your online account with us. This may include the date you created the account, the status of the account and date of expiry. This information is necessary to enable us to process your claim, in accordance with our public function.
- Compensation claim
If you make a claim to us we will collect, store and process the information you provide in connection with your compensation claim. Please note that this may include information obtained from the following sources:
- any personal data provided when you first submit your application, including the information contained in your application form and copies of any documents you submit in support of your application;
- any personal data (including copies of any documents) you subsequently provide as part of FSCS's consideration of your claim, whether this is provided in response to a request from us for further information, or on your own initiative; and
- any information we obtain about your claim from a third party. This could include, for example, the firm you made a claim against (or its insolvency practitioner), the FCA, PRA, Financial Ombudsman Service ("FOS") or your product provider. We will only obtain information about you from a third party where this is necessary for the proper performance of FSCS's public functions, including processing your claim for compensation and pursuing recoveries. Please see section  below for further information about the data we may obtain from third parties.
The personal data which FSCS will collect, store and process in connection with your compensation claim may include:
- your name, address, e-mail, telephone, fax and mobile numbers;
- your bank details;
- your current and historic employment details; and
- information regarding your current and historic financial position, including information regarding the financial product to which your claim relates, or your personal circumstances now or when the claim arose.
- FSCS requires this information in order to consider your claim for compensation, pursue recoveries against firms and others, and for the proper performance of its other public functions.
We may also use this information:
- to comply with our other legal obligations, including for the purposes of preparing our annual report and accounts; and
- for training purposes, to help improve our Services. The data privacy law allows this as part of our legitimate interest in providing the highest levels of service.
- We may use your information to assist third parties, such as the FCA, or the PRA, in carrying out their public functions. Please see section  below for further information about third parties to whom we may disclose your information.
- We may also collect and store copies of documents you provide with your application to prove your identity (for example, your passport or driver's license). These documents may contain details including your name, address, date of birth, facial image, place of birth, gender and nationality. FSCS requires this information in order to consider your claim for compensation, in accordance with our public function.
In some cases, FSCS may pay compensation in respect of your claim without you submitting an application. For example, following the default of a bank, building society or credit union. FSCS may assess whether or not you are eligible for compensation, and may make any compensation payment, without requiring you to submit an application. In these circumstances, FSCS will obtain information about you, including your name, address and bank details, from a third party, including for example the firm in default or an insolvency practitioner. FSCS will collect and process this personal data in order to pay compensation in respect of your claim, in accordance with our regulatory obligations and to fulfil our public function.
- Criminal activity
If we discover any criminal activity, or alleged criminal activity, through our fraud monitoring and / or sanctions procedures, we will process this data for the purposes of preventing or detecting unlawful acts. We do this on the basis that we have a legitimate interest in preventing unlawful acts.
- Contacting us
- If you contact us with a query or to make a complaint, we may use the personal data we hold about you in order to respond. We may also use your personal information for training purposes. This may include, for example, using recordings of telephone calls made to FSCS for training purposes. Data privacy law allows us to do this as part of our legitimate interest in providing you with the best possible service.
- Improving our Services
- We may use your personal information to send you survey and feedback requests, to ask for your views on our Services for customer satisfaction purposes. We have a legitimate interest in using your data for this purpose as it helps us to improve our Services.
- If we contact you to ask for your views or feedback on our Services, we may then collect, store and process any information you provide in response. We may use this data to help us improve our Services, on the basis of our legitimate interest in improving our Services. We may also use this data for public relations or marketing purposes. This may include using some of your information for our publications, for example in a case study in order to illustrate the way in which FSCS handles claims for publication. We will not use your information for public relations or marketing purposes unless you have provided your consent for us to do so.
Disclosing your information
When using your data for the purposes set out above, FSCS may:
Outsource activities to third parties that FSCS has agreements with. These activities include processing your claim, pursuing recoveries, or FSCS's other public functions, for which the use of your data may be needed.
FSCS remains responsible for protecting your personal data, and will require these third parties to have in place technical and organisational security measures to protect your information, and to ensure that they comply with their legal obligations for handling your personal data. These third parties may only use your data for the specific purposes set out in our agreements with them.
- Share your personal data with regulatory or government authorities where this is necessary to comply with legal or regulatory requirements, including UK authorities such as HM Treasury, the Bank of England, the PRA, the FCA and the FOS. This includes passing details of individuals involved in fraud or other criminal activity affecting FSCS to law enforcement.
- Share your personal data with third parties where this is necessary for the proper performance of FSCS's statutory functions, including processing your compensation claim or pursuing recoveries. These third parties include insolvency practitioners, the firm your claim is against, the firm's principals or representatives, your product provider, or any other third party who may be involved in the matter giving rise to your claim.
- Share your personal data with third parties where this is necessary for FSCS to carry out its public functions. These third parties would include FSCS's auditors, insurers, legal or other advisers and representatives.
- In rare circumstances, FSCS may share your information with a regulatory body in another country in the European Economic Area. This would include, for example, that country's equivalent to the PRA, the FCA or the FSCS. This may be because the authorised firm that you did business with had an overseas connection. This might mean FSCS having to work with an overseas regulator or compensation scheme to provide compensation to, or recover money paid in compensation to, customers of the UK authorised firm.
- We will not provide your information to any third party for the purpose of marketing or sales.
- Your representative
- If you make a claim to FSCS using a representative, solicitor or claims management company (a "Representative"), rather than making a claim directly, we may also share your personal data, and information relating to your claim, with your Representative.
- We will only share information with your Representative if you authorise us to do so, by providing due authorisation.
- FSCS will only share with your Representative information which is necessary to process your claim, pursue recoveries or otherwise assist with the proper performance of FSCS's public functions.
- We may share information with your authorised Representative via our Portal, even if you did not make your claim online. This is necessary to enable us to process your claim, in performance of our public function.
- It is your responsibility to ensure that your Representative has in place appropriate security measures to protect any personal information which FSCS shares with them, and to ensure that they comply with their legal obligations for handling your personal data.
Obtaining information from third parties
- FSCS may obtain information about you and your compensation claim from a third party, where this is necessary for the proper performance of FSCS's public functions, including processing your claim for compensation and pursuing recoveries. These third parties could include the firm you have made a claim against (or its insolvency practitioner), the FCA, PRA, FOS or your product provider. For example, if you make a claim about pension misselling, FSCS will need to contact your current pension provider to check the value of your pension, to determine the amount of loss you may have suffered and calculate the amount of compensation (if any) which may be payable.
- FSCS may obtain personal information about you from fraud prevention agencies, including for the purposes of verifying your identity when you make a compensation claim. FSCS will also check your personal data, including your name and date of birth, against government sanctions lists before it makes any compensation payment to you. FSCS processes your information in this way on the basis of its legitimate interest in preventing fraud and other criminal activity.
How long will we keep your information for?
- We will not keep your personal data for any longer than is necessary for the purposes we have explained above. At the end of that retention period, we will securely delete you data. For example, information in relation to any claim you submit to us will usually be deleted 7 years after your claim is closed.
- We have put in place appropriate technical and organisational security measures to prevent the loss or unauthorised access of your personal information. We also have in place procedures to deal with any suspected personal data breach and will notify you, and the applicable regulator of any breach where we are legally required to do so.
- Please note that whilst we have used our best efforts to ensure the security of your data, we cannot guarantee the security of information transmitted over the internet.
- You have the right to contact us in order to find out what information we hold about you or to access or correct any information that we hold about you. Please download and complete our Subject Access Request Form, opens in a new window and return the completed form to the contact details listed in section .
- You will not usually need to pay a fee to access your personal data, or to exercise any of your other rights. However, if your request is unfounded or excessive, we may charge a reasonable fee for complying with your request, or we may refuse to comply.
- If you have given us your consent to use your personal information, you have the right to change your mind at any time and withdraw your consent. This will apply where, for example, you have consented to us using your information for marketing purposes.
- If we are processing your personal data on the basis of our legitimate interest, you can ask us to stop for reasons connected to your individual circumstances. We will then stop processing your data unless we consider that we have a legitimate overriding reason to continue. This would include, for example, where we need to process your data in order to establish, exercise or defend a legal claim.
How to contact us
If you have any questions about the FSCS and our use of your information, please write to:
The Data Privacy Officer
10th Floor, Beaufort House
15 St Botolph Street
- You have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues (ico.org.uk, opens in a new window). We would, however, appreciate the chance to deal with your concerns before you approach the ICO so please contact us in the first instance.