UK Business Bank Accounts
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Structure of Banks in the United Kingdom
There are different categories of banks in the UK. Each type of bank caters to varying needs, from personal to business. Listed below are the four major categories of banks in the UK:
- Central Bank – In the UK, the Central Bank is the Bank of England or BoE. The Bank of England is the UK’s Central Bank and happens to be the world’s eighth oldest bank. The Bank of England is tasked with setting up and maintaining the country’s monetary policy and financial stability.
- High Street Banks – High street banks are like retail banks with multiple branch locations. These banks provide retail services; they mostly serve the general public. Instead of targeting a specific market or type of customer, they service a wide range of customers. A major characteristic of high street banks is that they are widespread and located in any commercial sector of towns and cities.
- Business Banking – Business banking services are those which High Street Banks offer. These services are provided in addition to what an ordinary account can offer. Hence, these are provided as additional services and for a certain fee.
- Investment Banking – Financial institutions offer investment banking services to customers, from individual corporations to governments. In addition, these institutes provide these investment banking services to invest in other companies and bond stocks. Banks in the United Kingdom services are provided on behalf of the high street banks, investment trusts and pension funds.
List of 10 Top Banks in the United Kingdom (UK)
- HSBC Holdings
- Lloyds Banking Group
- Royal Bank of Scotland Group
- Standard Chartered
- Santander UK
- Nationwide Building Society
- Close Brothers Group plc
- Coventry Building Society
The banks in the UK have gone through a major transition over the past decade. A few large banks currently occupy a major share of the banking sector. The top five largest banks are HSBC Holdings, Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Barclays, and Standard Chartered. This handful of banks has a monopoly on services to these enterprises. Let us now look at some of the history and current status of the top banks in the UK.
#1. HSBC Holdings:
HSBC Holdings has been deemed the seventh-largest bank globally and the largest in Europe in holding total assets. Although it was founded in Hong Kong in March 1865, it currently has its headquarters in the financial capital of the United Kingdom, London, and is the largest bank in the United Kingdom. It has a wide range of services from commercial banking, global banking, and global private banking, retail banking, wealth management, etc. The bank’s name, HSBC, comes from the name used when it was founded in Hong Kong, namely, Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.
#2. Lloyds Banking Group:
The Lloyds Banking Group is considered a major banking institution in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 2009 by acquiring HBOS and formed by merging HBOS and Lloyds TSB. Lloyds Banking Group has four subsidiaries: Lloyds Bank, Halifax, Bank of Scotland, and HBOS. It is considered the second largest bank in the United Kingdom and is headquartered in London.
#3. Royal Bank of Scotland Group:
The Royal Bank of Scotland, or RBS Group, provides various services to its customers, including corporate finance, business banking, insurance, and personal banking. It has its headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland, with offices in other parts of the world.
A multinational investment bank and financial services company, Barclays is headquartered in London and operates in around fifty countries worldwide. Barclays offers various investment banking services like corporate banking, personal banking, insurance, and wealth management.
#5. Standard Chartered:
Standard Chartered is a multinational banking and financial services company. Even though it is headquartered in London, it is a financial services company that does not offer any retail banking services in the United Kingdom. Most of its profit is from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
#6. Santander UK:
Santander UK is a financial services company that offers commercial, retail, and global corporate banking services. It provides services through various channels like ATMs, internet, digital, mobile, and telephone.
#7. Nationwide Building Society:
The Nation Building Society is like a mutual fund institution deemed the largest building society globally with 15 million members. It provides its members with current accounts, mortgages, savings, and personal finances-related services.
Schroders is an asset management company headquartered in London. It has operations in Europe, America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, offering various services like retail banking, wealth management, commercial banking, and global banking.
#9. Close Brothers Group plc:
Close Brothers Group plc comes under the business bank category of banks. It is a merchant banking group that provides lending, deposit-taking, trading securities, and wealth management services. They provide lending to individuals and small businesses and offer deposits to UK businesses and individuals.
#10. Coventry Building Society:
A building society based out of Coventry in England is the second largest bank in the UK. Godiva Mortgages Limited, Coventry Building Society, and Covered Bonds are subsidiaries. It has various products and services to offer its members, including financial planning, mortgages, investment services, savings products, and travel insurance.
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