In the unlikely event that a bank, building society or credit union fails, the Australian Government may activate the Financial Claims Scheme (FCS) which enables account holders quick access to deposits that are protected under the FCS. The FCS has also been referred to as the Australian Government deposit guarantee.
Under the FCS, deposits are protected up to a limit of $250,000 for each account holder at each bank, building society or credit union incorporated in Australia and licenced by APRA. As such, if you have up to $250,000 with one banking institution, and up to $250,000 with another banking institution that has a separate banking license, then both of these accounts are protected under the FCS.
Some banking institutions operate multiple banking businesses with different trading names under the same banking license. Since the FCS applies to deposits per licenced banking institution, if you have deposit accounts with a licenced bank, building society or credit union as well as deposits with any other banking businesses that institution operates under a different trading name, the FCS limit of $250,000 will apply to the total funds in all of these accounts under the one banking license.
For information on how the FCS applies to banking institutions see Types of banking institutions covered under the FCS. Most types of savings accounts are covered under the FCS - to find out what accounts are covered and those that are not covered, see Types of accounts covered under the FCS.
If the FCS is activated by the Australian Government, the scheme will be administered by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). APRA will endeavour to pay the majority of account holders their protected deposits under the FCS in seven calendar days.
Australian Government deposit guarantee scheme seal
Banks, building societies and credit unions may display a seal (pictured below) next to information relating to their deposit accounts to show these accounts are covered under the Financial Claims Scheme.
Banking institutions are not compelled to display this seal and, because some types of accounts are not covered under the FCS, account holders should check with their bank, building society or credit union as to whether their particular accounts are protected under the FCS.
For further information on how the seal can be used, and for other general information on banking, go to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission's Money Smart website.