Australian Government deposit guarantee scheme

SEAN CALLERY
Deputy Editor · 2 February 2021
If you have money on deposit in an Australian bank account, it may be protected by a government guarantee that’s known as the Financial Claims Scheme (FCS). Canstar explains which kinds of financial instructions and accounts are covered.

What is the Financial Claims Scheme?

The Financial Claims Scheme (FCS) is a government guarantee which protects people and other kinds of bank account holders (such as companies) with money on deposit in eligible accounts held with participating banks, credit unions and other financial institutions. The scheme covers deposits (e.g. your savings) up to $250,000 per account holder, per institution.

Financial institutions covered by the scheme are known as ‘authorised deposit-taking institutions‘ (ADIs) and are regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). According to APRA, the FCS can be activated by the Australian Government in the ‘unlikely event’ that an ADI fails. If this happens, APRA says the scheme is designed to return deposits to account holders within seven days of the guarantee being activated.

The FCS also covers claims of up to $5,000 from policyholders and people who make a claim against general insurers in Australia (e.g. car and home insurers), and provides protection for eligible claimants for claims above that amount.

It was set up during the global financial crisis (GFC) in 2008.

What deposits are covered by the Financial Claims Scheme?

The FCS applies to a wide range of account types, including:

  1. savings accounts
  2. call accounts
  3. term deposits
  4. current accounts
  5. cheque accounts
  6. debit card accounts
  7. transaction accounts
  8. personal basic accounts
  9. cash management accounts
  10. farm management deposit accounts
  11. pensioner deeming accounts
  12. mortgage offset accounts (either 100% or partial offset) that are separate deposit accounts
  13. trustee accounts
  14. retirement savings accounts
According to APRA, the scheme does not apply to:
  1. accounts with funds that are not in Australian dollars
  2. accounts kept at overseas branches of Australian banks
  3. credit balances on credit card facilities or other loans
  4. pre-paid card facilities or similar products
  5. ‘nostro’ accounts and ‘vostro’ accounts of foreign corporations that carry on banking business or otherwise provide financial services in a foreign country

Cover image source: Jakub Krechowicz/Shutterstock.com

This article was reviewed by our Sub Editor Jacqueline Belesky before it was published as part of our fact-checking process.

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