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    PRA to Extend Temporary High Balance Coverage Amid COVID Crisis

    August 04, 2020

    PRA published the policy statement PS19/20 on the final policy for extending coverage under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) for Temporary High Balance. PS19/20 amends the Depositor Protection Part of the PRA Rulebook (Appendix 1) and the Statement of Policy on the Deposit Guarantee Scheme (Appendix 2). PS19/20 also contains feedback to responses to the consultation paper CP6/20 on extending Temporary High Balance coverage. In CP6/20, PRA had proposed to increase the Temporary High Balance coverage period from six months to twelve months up until, and including, January 31, 2021. PRA highlights that responses to CP6/20 did not raise issues that would lead to any changes to the proposal. Coverage for Temporary High Balance will revert to six months, from February 01, 2021. The rule change and updated Statement of Policy will become effective on August 06, 2020.

    The Temporary High Balance rules of PRA extend FSCS coverage from GBP 85,000 to GBP 1 million for a period of six months from the point of deposit for certain qualifying life events, including deposits in preparation for the purchase and proceeds from the sale of residential properties, benefits payable on death, and life assurance payouts. The length of coverage for each Temporary High Balance would be determined by reference to the date on which a Temporary High Balance is credited to a depositor’s account, or the first date on which the Temporary High Balance becomes legally transferable to the depositor, whichever is later. The proposals were aimed to mitigate the consumer protection issues caused by the impact of COVID-19 on residential property and investment markets and on access to banking services, for some depositors. 

    PS19/20 is relevant to retail financial consumers that are, or may become, Temporary High Balance depositors. PS19/20 is also relevant to FSCS and to all authorized deposit takers. PS19/20 has been designed in the context of withdrawal of UK from EU and entry into the transition period, during which time UK remains subject to European law. PRA will keep the policy under review to assess whether any changes would be required due to changes in the UK regulatory framework at the end of the transition period, including those arising once any new arrangements with EU take effect. PRA has assessed that the policy would not need to be amended under the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018. 

     

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    Effective Date: August 06, 2020

    Keywords: Europe, EU, Banking, COVID-19, FSCS, PRA Rulebook, Deposit Guarantee Scheme, Residential Property, Credit Risk, CP6/20, PS19/20, Temporary High Balance Coverage, PRA

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