United Kingdom

Banking in UK

About The United Kingdom

The United Kingdom, or the UK, is made up of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It stands aside from Europe, however the convenience of travel between these areas increases their connection, and the frequency of business relationships and banking transactions. The United Kingdom is a democracy with a constitutional monarchy. It has a queen and a parliament.

The United Kingdom is a historic nation, as it has been colonised for an extended period of time. The region includes many forms of ancient architecture, including Stonehenge. Although The United Kingdom is progressive with banking technology and is well established, many of the organisations, including the UK banks and banking system, have a very long history. The United Kingdom has many core traditions and values, however it is also a multicultural region, and is highly active in international business and affairs.

International Banking in UK

Banking in the United Kingdom can be difficult for foreigners who wish to attain local accounts. You may find that even being a joint account holder causes you difficulties as you will either need to residing there for a number of years or provide extensive paperwork. Your best option is to shop around, and ask questions, as each bank has different requirements. Also your country of citizenship may be relevant.

Major Banks in the UK

Barclays PLC

Barclays PLC has its head offices in London and is in the top ten largest banks in the world. It operates in over 50 countries around the world, and it serves over 48 million customers. Services it provides include business banking, investment banking, retail banking and wealth management.


HSBC Holdings

HSBC Holdings is a multinational UK banking group, is the second largest bank in the world, and the second largest company in the world. It is located in 87 countries and provides commercial, global and investment banking services. It also assists with personal banking services. HSBC was established in London in 1991 by The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, and it still remain the largest bank in Hong Kong.

Other major banks in the United Kingdom include Lloyds Bank, and The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, which also deals in insurance, and for a period of time, it was the world’s largest company.

UK Currency

Currency in the United Kingdom is called British Sterling. Before 1971, the British currency system featured pounds, shillings and pence. During this year, the United Kingdom changed their system to sync with Europe and they now use the decimal system. The UK banking system no longer uses shillings, only pounds and pence. 100 pence is equivalent to one pound. This change makes international transfers much easier, and for foreigners, it is easier to understand and adapt to.

The United Kingdom uses the following currencies: 1 penny, 2 pence, 5 pence, 10 pence, 20 pence, 50 pence, one pound, 2 pounds. In 2007 the 20 pound note was created. In 2011, the 50 pound note was created. Pounds are often written as £, or as GBP which means, Great Britain Pounds. Pence are written as p.

Travel Banking

The United Kingdom is set up as an international destination and UK banking networks area well established, including ATMS, currency exchanges, establishments to change travellers cheques, and purchase travel insurance. In the major areas, interpreters should be available in most languages, however these need to be requested. The primary language is English.

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