- How safe is the money I deposit through the platform?
- Do I maintain FSCS protection with deposits held on the platform?
- Who makes the FSCS claim if a bank on the platform goes into Administration?
- In the event that Flagstone were to go into liquidation, how is my money protected?
Technology & Security
- Why do banks work with Flagstone?
- How can Flagstone access better interest rates for clients?
- What is the ‘Hub Account’ and what is it used for?
- What happens when I want my cash back from the platform?
- If I would like to make a transfer from one of my accounts on the platform, is this possible?
- Can I directly contact the banks that I place money with through the Flagstone platform to discuss the deposits?
- Will the banks that I place money with through the platform be able to market products and services to me?
- If I have a problem or a query, who do I contact?
- What is a ‘Nominated Account’?
- How can I change my Nominated Account details?
New Accounts & Placing Deposits
- How long does it take to open a Hub Account?
- How long does it take to open accounts with the other banks on the platform?
- Will I receive any statements directly from each bank that deposits are placed with through the platform?
- How will I be alerted to new banks, interest rates, products available on the Flagstone platform?
- When a new deposit rate is selected through Flagstone, is the rate guaranteed at that point?
- How do I update or change my details?
Financial Strength Scores & Methodology
- What is the ‘Financial Strength Score’ and how does it work?
- How are the Financial Strength Scores calculated?
Who is Flagstone?
Cash Savings is provided by Flagstone Investment Management Limited (“Flagstone” or “the Company”) which is a UK registered and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulated technology business (Reference Numbers 676754 and 605504).
Flagstone is registered as a limited company in England and Wales No. 08528880.
The Company’s registered address is 1st Floor, Clareville House, 26-27 Oxendon Street, London SW1Y 4EL.
The Company is registered as a data controller with the Information Commissioner’s Office under the Data Protection Act 2018 (Registration Number: ZA033774).
For more information on the Company and its services, please go to www.flagstoneim.com
How safe is the money I deposit through the platform?
As a company authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and subject to the Payment Services Regulations, Flagstone is required to safeguard client assets at all times, hold appropriate levels of regulatory capital and generally organise and manage its business to the high standards set by the FCA. All the UK banks on the platform are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as well as the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA).
Do I maintain FSCS protection with deposits held on the platform?
Yes. The level of Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection is exactly the same as if the deposit was placed directly with the bank.
If one of the UK banks on the platform went into administration then depositors with that bank are protected up to the FSCS deposit compensation limit of £85,000 for individuals and £170,000 for joint accounts*. Each deposit (up to £85,000 for individuals and £170,000 for joint accounts) placed with a different UK bank on the platform is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Therefore, if you open multiple fixed term deposit accounts on the platform (with no more than £85,000 in each of those accounts and as long as you do not hold any additional deposits with any of these banks outside of the platform), all of your deposits are fully protected by the FSCS.
* Correct as at 3 November 2019. For more information please refer to www.fscs.org.uk
Who makes the FSCS claim if a bank on the platform goes into Administration?
As trustee for your funds, Flagstone would be responsible for administering the claim on your behalf.
In the event that Flagstone were to go into liquidation, how is my money protected?
Flagstone is obliged under law to implement safeguarding measures to protect client funds. For this reason, all funds held by Flagstone on behalf of clients are separated from Flagstone’s own funds and only held in designated trust accounts. Were Flagstone to be placed in administration or wound up, you will retain full beneficial ownership of your funds at all times and as such these will be paid back to you by the administrator. Clients have no credit exposure to Flagstone.
Technology & Security
How is the money which is transferred, protected from fraudulent activity?
From a technology perspective, Flagstone partners with top tier providers and security experts to ensure end to end security. We employ practices and techniques to ensure that our platform remains up to date with the everchanging security landscape. This ensures that we continue to provide a secure platform to our clients. Furthermore, Flagstone does not allow any third party payments and all funds returned to clients are paid back to the originating funding account only.
What are the fees for using the Cash Savings account and how are they charged?
Flagstone charges a management fee for using the platform. The management fee is specified in the Limits, Fees and Charges Summary in your Engagement Letter and will not exceed 0.25%. It is calculated in respect of all cash held by you in any deposit accounts. You will not be charged a management fee in relation to sums held in the Hub Account, which does not pay interest. On maturity of a deposit, the bank will return an amount comprising: (i) Flagstone's management fee; (ii) the principal which was deposited into the relevant deposit account on your behalf; and (iii) the interest payable to you. The management fee is paid to Flagstone at the same time as the principal and interest are credited to your Hub Account. Accounts on the platform are displayed net of Flagstone's management fee and simply show the interest rate that you receive on your deposit accounts. Interactive Investor is paid a share of the management fee and will receive this directly from Flagstone.
Why do banks work with Flagstone?
Flagstone provides its partner banks with a distribution channel that enables them to source valuable deposit funding in a controlled and cost effective way.
How can Flagstone access better interest rates for clients?
Through the relationships which Flagstone has developed with its partner banks and due to the volume of deposits it intermediates, Flagstone is often able to access deposit rates which are not available to direct client applications.
What is the ‘Hub Account’ and what is it used for?
The Hub Account is a segregated trust account set up specifically to safeguard client assets. The Flagstone Hub Account is provided by Barclays Bank Plc. The Hub Account is established to receive the initial monies transferred on to the Flagstone platform before they are sent on to a deposit account. Furthermore, the Hub Account acts as the account to which all monies (principal and interest) must be returned by the relevant Flagstone banking partner at a maturity event or when they are requested back by a client in respect of a notice or instant access account.
What happens when I want my cash back from the platform?
When you want your money to be returned, you will need to provide an instruction to return funds via the platform. Any money being returned will only be sent to the ‘Nominated Account’ details which you have provided in your initial application.
If I would like to make a transfer from one of my accounts on the platform, is this possible?
The platform does not support third party transfers. All monies transferred from a deposit account on the platform can only be sent back to your Hub Account.
Once monies are received into the Hub Account they can only be transferred to your Nominated Account.
Will the banks that I place money with through the platform be able to market products and services to me?
No, the banks will not contact you directly. All contact will be through the Client Services Team at Flagstone.
What is a ‘Nominated Account’?
The Nominated Account is the account to which Flagstone will pay your monies when they have been requested back and are no longer being managed on the platform. This is the only account to which we will transfer your money from their Hub Account. The Nominated Account is set up on the basis of the account information provided in your application form.
How can I change my Nominated Account details?
To change the details of your Nominated Account you will be required to provide a written instruction with a ‘wet ink’ signature detailing the new account details along with an original bank statement for the new account. Additional security checks may also be required to complete this process.
New Accounts & Placing Deposits
How long does it take to open a Hub Account?
Once Flagstone’s Client Services Team have confirmed that they are in receipt of all documentation and information that is required, we aim to have your Hub Account opened in 48 hours and often much sooner.
How long does it take to open accounts with the other banks on the platform?
The account opening process with each bank is slightly different and thus takes a different time depending on the specific institution.
As a guide it should never take more than 5 working days to open an account although some banks are significantly quicker than this and open accounts for Flagstone on a same day basis.
Will I receive any statements directly from each bank that deposits are placed with through the platform?
No. All reporting is consolidated and monthly statements covering all banks will be made available via the Flagstone platform.
How will I be alerted to new banks, interest rates, products available on the Flagstone platform?
If subscribed, you will receive email alerts in respect of new banks, rates and products which are available on the platform.
When a new deposit rate is selected through Flagstone, is the rate guaranteed at that point?
No. Interest rates are only confirmed at the point a deposit is physically made (i.e. once the relevant account has been opened). If the rate is the same (or better) than the one selected, then the deposit will be automatically placed. If however a rate moves downwards between the time a deposit is instructed and the time it is actually placed, then you will be contacted by the Client Services Team at Flagstone to confirm the new rate prior to the deposit being placed.
Financial Strength Scores & Methodology
What is the ‘Financial Strength Score’ and how does it work?
A numerical 'Financial Strength Score' out of 100 is available for each bank on the platform, benchmarked against a 'Model Bank' which has a Financial Strength Score of 50.
A higher score indicates greater financial strength from the point of view of a cash depositor The banks are ranked according to their Financial Strength Score on the 'Portfolio Builder' page of the platform. For each bank on the Flagstone platform, their Financial Strength Score, the analysis behind that score and some further useful information is available in a 'Fact Sheet’.
Facts Sheets for each bank can be accessed by clicking on the bank's name as the cursor is moved over each account in the graph view on the 'Portfolio Builder' page of the platform, or by clicking on 'Fact Sheets' in the platform navigation bar. Fact Sheets are updated on a weekly basis.
How are the Financial Strength Scores calculated?
Flagstone looks at a number of key financial ratios that can be used to assess the financial strength of each bank. These relate to its balance sheet strength, its operational performance, liquidity, funding and asset quality. Each ratio is compared to a ‘Model Bank’ benchmark (with an overall Financial Strength Score of 50).
The Fact Sheet then shows whether the bank for each ratio:
(i) meets the benchmark criteria (Green); (ii) has a negative divergence of less than 15% (Amber); or (iii) has a negative divergence of over 15% (Red).
The “Trend” arrows indicate the direction of travel vs. the previous financial year and the colour code indicates whether the trend is considered to be positive/negative/ neutral.
The full Financial Strength Score methodology and disclaimer are set out in detail in the ‘Methodology’ tab of the Financial Strength Scores Explained’ page of the platform, which can be accessed via ‘Fact Sheets’ in the platform navigation. The purpose of the information provided is to assist clients in making their own assessment of the relative financial strength of the different banks on the platform and does not constitute advice. It is important to note that Financial Strength Scores are for illustrative purposes only. The data used in the Financial Strength Score analysis is based solely on publicly-available information which has not been independently verified and which may be subject to changes not reflected in the Financial Strength Scores.
What about tax reporting, how does the platform help me with that?
At the end of a tax year, a summary detailing interest earned on all accounts operated within the previous year is made available via the platform. This summary should be available to you within two months of the tax year end.
If I open a Term Account can the funds be withdrawn before the end of the term?
A Term Account has a specific term (e.g. 6 months, 12 months). Once a Term Account is open and funded, it cannot be broken until the end of the term.
This means that your cash is locked up in the account for the full length of the term, after which it automatically returns to your Hub Account with the interest that has accrued on the deposit.