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How my money is protected / safeguarded? (UK Customers)
How my money is protected / safeguarded? (UK Customers)

Is my money safe with Plum?

Updated over a week ago

Plum is the smart money app that can help across different areas of your personal finances. You can use Plum to set more money aside, budget your spending and savings or manage your investments and retirement fund.

Each of these offerings represents different financial products, and each of them comes with specific regulations designed to help if something goes wrong. Let's look at the various ways money is protected with Plum 🔒

What does protecting your money mean?

We take security seriously. We support face/fingerprint recognition and use 256-bit TLS encryption to keep the Plum app safe.

When we talk about protecting your money, what we mean is, if something happens to one of our providers, banks, or Plum (don’t worry though, we’re not going anywhere!) you can still get your money and savings back safely.

There are plenty of banks and money-saving apps out there, and we can’t advise you where the best place is for your money. But, we'll explain how your deposits, savings and investment are protected with the Plum.

How money in your Plum Account is protected (excluding Interest Pockets)

The default area of your Plum account is the Primary Pocket. Any money you deposit from your bank will land here as e-money (electronic money) unless your Splitter is set up to deposit into an Interest Pocket or Investments.

E-money is stored in a digital wallet, and unlike money saved in a bank account, it can’t be lent from one person to another.

Your Primary Pocket is operated and maintained by our EMI provider(s), who is obliged to protect your money through ‘Safeguarding’. They do this by placing it into a separate, segregated bank account, where it is pooled with money belonging to other Plum and the EMI provider(s) customers.

These safeguarding accounts are protected by law, so other creditors of a failed e-money institution can’t make a claim against them. In practice, this means if our EMI provider(s) were to fail, it should have enough money in its safeguarding account to pay all customers the money they are owed.

Of course, for safeguarding to protect you, the e-money provider must honour their safeguarding obligations, by ensuring that there is enough money in its safeguarding account to repay all customers.

This is why, here at Plum, we pick our providers very carefully, and will only work with reputable companies who have a proven track record 🤝

In the event that anything were to happen to our EMI provider(s) an independent insolvency administrator would be appointed to manage the closure of the business and distribute cash held back to customers.

Any money belonging to Plum customers can only be paid out from the pooled, safeguarding account after insolvency costs have been settled.

Unlike a bank, where eligible customers are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), any money not returned through an administration process would be lost.

What is the Financial Services Compensation Scheme?

The FSCS is the UK’s statutory deposit insurance and investor compensation scheme for customers of authorised financial services firms.

The protection is provided by an independent organisation, which means if any of the FSCS-protected firms that provide investment services to Plum were to fail, this independent body is legally obligated to repay all money to eligible customers (typically up to a maximum of £85,000, for consumers).

How money in your Easy Access Interest Pockets is protected?

If you would like to earn a return on your money, but without the risks of investing, you can create an Easy Access Interest Pocket.

Interest Pockets are available for all customers, but we’ve reserved our best interest rate for our Plum Pro, Plum Ultra and Plum Premium subscribers.

Money saved with Plum in these Interest Pockets is held with a UK Bank (Investec Bank Plc.). Unlike your Primary Pocket, money saved in an Interest Pocket is protected by the Financial Services Competition Scheme (FSCS).

How is your money in Plum Interest protected?

Money in Plum Interest is held in a Money Market Fund (MMF). This fund invests almost wholly in short-term assets issued or guaranteed by the UK Government such as government bonds. That means you’d only lose money in the very unlikely circumstance of the UK Government going bust and defaulting on their debt obligations and/or if interest rates turned negative.

Any MMF we choose is subject to strict regulatory requirements to enable it to be considered a cash equivalent. Your cash, if invested in a MMF, will be protected under the FCA’s client asset custody rules, meaning your funds are held in segregated clients’ accounts and away from Plum’s assets. To that end, your money is fully recoverable in the highly unlikely scenario that Plum, the fund manager or the custodian were to enter into administration.

How money you invest with Plum is protected

Investment funds (GIA, ISA & SIPP)

When you invest money using the Plum app, you’re buying part of a fund through our Product Providers (Saveable for ISA/GIAs and Quai for SIPPs).

An investment fund is like a big pot of money that is managed by professionals. They decide which individual businesses or other investment assets should be in the fund, to try and grow the pot whilst also meeting other objectives, such as a focus on a particular sector or geographic region.

Although the value of your investments will naturally fluctuate according to market forces, which is not covered by the FSCS, your share of any Plum investment funds you choose will be safeguarded by a regulated custodian.

It’s the custodian's job to keep your shares safe, but if the appointed custodian were to fail, you could benefit from the FSCS 👇

Company stocks

Just like investment funds, the value of your stock investments will naturally fluctuate according to market forces over time, but your underlying investments (the company stocks/shares that you own) are protected.

Your stock investments are safeguarded by a US federally mandated, nonprofit organisation, the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).

SIPC ensures that should anything happen to us (Plum) or our investment broker (Alpaca), your investments can be transferred back to you and not touched by anyone who we or our broker may owe money to.

SIPC protection also extends to non-US citizens, covering accounts up to $500,000 per client, as defined by SIPC rules. This makes SIPC coverage similar to the FSCS, which operates here in the UK.

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