The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) declared 13 firms in default in November and December.

In November Barnbeck Limited, Dexia PAM Limited, Direct Market Touch Limited, Drew (UK) Financial Services, Fiducia Wealth Solutions Limited, J L Fisher Financial Services Limited, Mentor Financial Limited, Stephen Davies (Haverfordwest) Limited and Wingray Autos Limited were declared in default.

Meanwhile, Horbury Bridge Garages Limited, Optimus Wealth Management Limited, Ober Private Clients Limited and Walker Woodhead Financial Planning Limited were declared in December.

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According to the FSCS, this service, which is free to consumers, protects money held in bank, building society and credit union accounts.

It also protects insurance, investments, mortgage advice and arranging, and debt management.

Caroline Rainbird, chief executive at FSCS, said: “Because these firms are unable to pay back the money they owe their customers, FSCS can step in and pay them compensation.

“As chief executive, I see first-hand the important role FSCS plays to help people who have lost money through their dealings with financial services firms that have failed or are no longer trading.

“The impact of their financial loss should not be underestimated.

“People who claim through FSCS are often vulnerable.

“We treat each person with empathy and understanding as their claim is progressed.”