If a bank goes bust, you would want to know: what happens next, and who foots the bill? Back in fourteenth century Barcelona, if a bank failed, the owners of the bank would be
publicly condemned by the town crier and forced to live on bread and water until they repaid people they owed money to. Fast forward to the global financial crisis that ignited in 2007, when a number of UK banks and
building societies got into trouble. In the end, the Government had to step in, using taxpayers’ money to bail out failing banks. Things have changed since then. The Bank of England has a new set of tools that allow it to step in quickly where needed. If your bank ran into difficulties and went bust today you can be safe in the knowledge that you would still have access to your money,
up to £75,000 and be able to make payments. A bank failure today would play out in an orderly way, with far less disruption to the rest of the
financial system than before. And crucially, under the new set-up, the costs would fall on the shareholders
and creditors of the failed bank, not on taxpayers.