The UK runs a highly developed banking sector. They have the largest banks in Europe. Meanwhile, they rank fourth largest in the world. They are also considered the largest financial center in the world for cross-border lending. All the banks within the industry vary in size and composition. And as a result of the variation, there are a few ones that are bigger and better when compared to others. That established, below is a table showing the ten biggest British banks and their value. Subsequent paragraphs will be discussing these banks. Enjoy!!

Before then, here is a description of the United Kingdom Banking Structure.

UK Banking Structure

The United Kingdom has different banks, which can be classified into different types. In addition, these bank types ultimately depend on their structures, functions, and the entities it operates with. As such, some banks interact with institutions, while others provide a platform for people and businesses. On the other hand, some banks are concerned with the design and implementation of monetary policies. In any case, below are the 4 classes of banks that operate in the United Kingdom.

Central Bank

Within the UK, the Bank of England is referred to as the central bank. This financial institution has been in operation for over 300 years, making it one of the oldest in the world. Unlike other banks in the UK, the Bank of England is responsible for monitoring the banking sector by ensuring financial stability and producing monetary policies. In addition, this bank is responsible for issuing British Pounds, the legal tender within the country.

Business Banking

In simple terms, business banking refers to the banking services offered by financial institutions termed high street banks. These services are not provided to individuals but to businesses and corporations. Examples of such services include asset management, business loans, and bulk electronic transfer. Also, business banking facilities are extra services offered by high-street banks in addition to basic services.

High Street Banks

The term high street banks refer to a large portion of banks that operate within the United Kingdom. It refers to banks that operate multiple branches and offer retail services across the country. In addition, these banks curate products and services suitable for individuals of varying capacities. Likewise, they offer business banking services for businesses and corporations. For this reason, high street banks are found in the commercial centers of cities and towns across the UK.

Investment Banking

Investment banking is another service offered by banks in the UK. Also, they offer this service to individuals, corporations, and government agencies. In general, banks that provide investment banking services usually take money from customers and invest in bonds and stocks.

Here’s the list of TOP-15 largest banks in England including the biggest banks of London:

  1. HSBC Holdings
  2. Lloyds Banking Group
  3. Royal Bank of Scotland Group
  4. Barclays
  5. Standard Chartered
  6. Nationwide Building Society
  7. Santander UK
  8. Close Brothers
  9. Schroders
  10. Coventry Building Society
  11. Bank of England
  12. Tesco Bank
  13. Bank of Scotland plc
  14. Royal Bank of Scotland
  15. TSB Bank
  16. Biggest Banks in London


Biggest Banks in the UK


Santander UKClose BrothersSchrodersCoventry Building Society.

Here’s the table representing British banks with the most assets:

Rank Bank Total Assets (In billions of British pounds)
1. HSBC Holdings 1,936
2. Lloyds Banking Group 817
3. Royal Bank of Scotland Group 783
4. Barclays 1,203
5. Standard Chartered 526
Nationwide Building Society
Santander UK
Close Brothers
10. Coventry Building Society 51

1. The HSBC Holdings Plc

HSBC Holdings Plc is the largest bank in the UK. It is, in fact, the 7th largest bank in the world. It was founded in 1865 in British Hong Kong. The bank operates four major business strands which include global banking, global private banking, commercial banking, and retail banking. They are presently spread across sixty-seven different countries of the world with 3900 offices.

2. The Lloyds Banking Group

This is another one of the TOP banks in the UK; the second largest. It was established in 2009 from the merger of HBOS and Lloyds TBS. The Lloyds banking group has its headquarters in London. The bank operates in several other countries within Europe, and even in other continents like Asia, the Middle East, and the US, and has a staff strength of about 75,000 employees. The group is organized into:

  • retail,
  • commercial banking,
  • insurance,
  • and consumer finance.

3. The Royal Bank of Scotland Group

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group is a popular bank in the UK. It is commonly called the RBS Group. The bank has its headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland, and has other offices in Europe, Asia, and North America. It provides several different banking services:

  • personal and business banking,
  • insurance,
  • corporate finance.

It is a holding company, and issues banknotes in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

4. The Barclays

Barclays is one of the major banks in the UK and ranks fourth largest. It is a global bank with headquarters in London. The bank’s services include:

  • wealth management,
  • corporate and personal banking,
  • insurance.

It started out in 1690 as a goldsmith banking business in London. But presently, the global bank operates within a large coverage of about 40 countries and has over 120,000 employees. In the industry, it is known as an innovative bank and is valued at £1,203 billion.

5. The Standard Chartered Bank

Standard Chartered is a UK bank, although it doesn’t offer retail banking services in the UK. It is headquartered in London. And has about 1,200 branches in at least 70  and a staff strength of over 87,000 people. Most of its services are provided in other continents like Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. And about 90% of its earnings come from these continents. The bank’s assets are valued at £526 billion.

6. Nationwide Building Society

The Nationwide Building Society was established in 1884. The bank has its head office in Swindon. At the moment, the bank has over 15,000 staff all across the United Kingdom. Nationwide Building Society provides its clients with a wide range of banking services:

  • mortgages,
  • project finances,
  • savings accounts,
  • current accounts,
  • other types of loan schemes,
  • and much more.

In addition, the bank provides community-building loan facilities such as investment products and several types of financial plans for the purchase of different types of uses.

Nationwide Building Society has a combined total asset and net income of over £190 billion and £700 million, respectively.

7. Santander UK

Santander UK is a subsidiary of the financial institution Santander Group. It is one of the biggest banks in the UK. The bank operates out of London and was opened in 1988. Since then, Santander UK has employed close to 20,000 staff all across the United Kingdom.

Santander UK provides several types of banking services such as commercial banking services, corporate banking services, and retail banking services. Across the United Kingdom, Santander UK has over 800 branches, out of which 67 operate as corporate business outlets. Likewise, the bank operates several ATMs at strategic locations. Its clients also enjoy services such as mobile banking, telephone banking, and other state-of-the-art banking services.

8. Close Brothers

Close Brothers is another one of the largest banks in the UK. The bank has had its corporate headquarters in London since it was opened in 1920. Close Brothers Bank has three main banking divisions, which are property, commercial, and retail divisions. Within the three combined divisions, Close Brothers have employed more than 2,000 employees across all its branches.

The retail section of Close Brothers Bank is predominately concerned with providing financing for:

  • financial activities of individuals,
  • insurance companies,
  • retailers,
  • and car dealers.

The commercial section works closely with several companies that are considered small and medium-sized enterprises. On the other hand, the property section primarily works with property developers.

Close Brothers Bank has a combined total asset and net income of over £8.11 billion and £172 million, respectively.

9. Schroders

Schroders is another biggest UK bank within United Kingdom that has a total asset that amounts to £19 billion and a net income of over £470 million. This financial institution was established in 1804 with its head office operating out of London. At the moment, Schroders has a staff force of over 4,000 people.

Schroders has several international branches in locations such as Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Schroders operates three distinct sections, which operate independently. These sections are:

  • wealth management,
  • retail banking,
  • commercial banking.

10. Coventry Building Society

Coventry Building Society is a banking institution and a building society institution. The bank has a total asset that is over £51 billion and a net income that is over £160 million. Coventry Building Society has over 2,000 employees all across the United Kingdom.

Coventry Building Society offers its clients banking services for:

  • building services,
  • savings products,
  • mortgages,
  • brokerage services,
  • other insurance-related services.

11. Bank of England

This bank is the apex bank in the United Kingdom. It has set the blueprint for the development of most central banks. In addition, the bank of England began operating in 1694 as a government-owned bank. Back then, the bank was owned by private shareholders. From 1946 until now, this bank is owned by the government. It is amongst the 10 oldest banks in the world. In 1998, the operations of the bank shifted into the hands of the country’s Treasury Solicitor. Now, this department handles monetary policies independent of the UK government.

The Bank of England essentially performs several functions. Some of these functions include:

  • issuance of banknotes,
  • regulation of currency,
  • regulation of banks,
  • development of policies,
  • and much more.

Within Wales and England, this bank directly handles the issuance of currencies. However, it only regulates the issue of banknotes within Northern Ireland and Scotland.

12. Tesco Bank

Tesco Bank began operating in 1997. Initially, the bank was managed and owned by the popular retail supermarket Tesco and the Royal Bank of Scotland. A few years later, Tesco purchased the shareholding section of the Royal Bank of Scotland. Therefore, the bank is currently owned by Tesco. Like most commercial banks, this bank offers customers a wide range of banking services:

  • savings accounts,
  • loans,
  • insurance,
  • card services,
  • and more.

Tesco Bank works seamlessly together with the Tesco Clubcard. So, customers can earn and spend points within Tesco outlets. For this service, this bank has one of the highest customer satisfaction.

13. Bank of Scotland plc

The Bank of Scotland is different from the Royal Bank of Scotland. It became a subsidiary of Lloyds Banking family after its collapse in 2008. However, the Bank of Scotland was initially established in the 1600s – a year before the Bank of England. Before the creation of banking regulations, this bank was printing its banknotes. Up till now, the Bank of Scotland is responsible for printing sterling banknotes that are in circulation in Scotland. Therefore, the Bank of Scotland and the Bank of England are the only two banks that are responsible for issuing currencies within the United Kingdom.

14. Royal Bank of Scotland

This bank operates in Scotland as a commercial bank. Established in 1724, it is now a subsidiary of NatWest. Initially, the bank was created as a financial institution with ties to the Whig pollical party and the House of Hanover. At the moment, the Royal Bank of Scotland has more than 500 branches across the UK. It provides regular banking services including, saving accounts, current accounts, loans, and much more.

15. TSB Bank

TSB Bank adopted this name in 2013. However, it was initially known as Trustee Savings Bank. Now, this bank operates as a subsidiary of Sabadell Group – a Spanish financial institution. TSB Bank has several branches within the United Kingdom. It provides regular banking services to both private and commercial clients. Headquartered in Edinburgh, the bank has most of its customers in the city.

Biggest Banks in London

NatWest Group

NatWest Group was established in 1968. This bank has its head office in Edinburgh. The bank provides thousands of people with direct and indirect jobs. It also provides banking services to thousands of people within London. Within the UK, it has one of the largest total assets.

Virgin Money

Virgin Money has one of the largest total assets in the UK. As a banking institution, it provides a wide range of financial services to Londoners. These services include personal accounts, corporate accounts, auto insurance, retirement packages, and much more.


Investec offers its clients specialist banking services such as corporate and private financial services. The financial institution is listed on the London Stock Exchange. It has a market value of over $3 billion. Investec has several branches in London and other locations in the UK.

The Co-operative Bank

The Co-operative Bank is a commercial bank that has its headquarters in Manchester. The bank also operates out of London. It operates within the confines of FSCS, which is a scheme that provides compensation in case of financial failure.

Metro Bank

Metro Bank is one of the banks that has completely shifted the banking landscape in the UK. Established in 2010, it is amongst the high-street banks in the country. It has several branches in London and other locations within England. It offers its clients a wide range of private and corporate banking services.


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