Are my savings protected in any way?
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protects you if the institution your money is with goes bust.
FSCS is an independent body, set up under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA).
In the case of savings, the maximum compensation level is £85,000 per person. The new level came into force as of 31st December 2010. You can claim 100% for the first £85,000 of an account balance. Balances above £85,000 are not covered.
The scheme covers authorised firms and it's illegal for a business to take money on deposit without being authorised by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) which is the independent watchdog set up by government to regulate financial services in the UK and protect the rights of consumers.
See www.fscs.org.uk for more information.