Best 100 Banks and Building Societies in the UK: A List

Best 100 Banks and Building Societies in the UK: A List

Updated March 4, 2022

Written by the WikiJob Team

The UK has the biggest banking sector in Europe, and the fourth-largest in the world. 

Over two million people in the UK work in financial and related services.

Bank employees work in a wide range of areas, from cashiers who handle customer transactions, to mortgage advisors and branch managers who assess customers' suitability for loans.

The following list features the top 100 banks and building societies in the UK, and lists them in alphabetical order by category.

Top 100 Banks and Building Societies in the UK


1. Adam & Company (Part of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group)

Provides a number of private banking services including financial planning, investment management and private banking.

2. Aldermore Bank

This retail bank offers its services to small- and medium-sized businesses. It was founded in 2009 and its lending services are mostly in asset finance, residential mortgages and buy-to-let mortgages.

3. Alliance Trust Savings Limited

This award-winning publicly traded bank has been trading since 1986. It has its headquarters in Dundee, Scotland.

4. Al Rayan Bank, PLC

This commercial bank was established in 2004 to provide financial services that are Sharia-compliant.

5. American Express

This multinational bank was founded in 1850. In 2017, Forbes named it the 23rd most valuable brand in the world.

6. Arbuthnot Latham & Co

A private bank based in the City of London. It offers wealth planning, banking and investment management services.

7. Atom Bank PLC

This digital bank is headquartered in Durham but has no physical locations. It is available to access via a smartphone app.

8. Bank and Clients

A private bank based in London.

9. Bank of England

The Bank of England was founded in 1694 and is the world's eighth-oldest bank. The Bank of England is the central bank of the UK and the model on which most modern banks have been based.

10. Bank of Ireland Group

This is a public limited company. It is one of the ‘Big Four’ banks in Ireland. Its financial services are available for personal, industrial and agricultural sectors.

11.Bank of London and The Middle East

A Sharia-compliant independent bank and the largest Islamic bank in Europe.

12. Bank of Scotland

The history of this bank dates to the 17th century. The commercial and clearing bank is one of the oldest in the UK.

13. Barclays

This multinational bank has its headquarters in London and can trace its origins back to the late 17th century. Its services include retail banking, wholesale banking, wealth management and investment banking.

14. Bradford & Bingley

This British bank has its headquarters in Bingley, West Yorkshire. It was formed in 2000 by the Bradford & Bingley Building Society.

15. Butterfield Private Bank

A private mortgage provider for local and International clients with high net worth.

16. Cambridge and Counties Bank

50% owned by the Cambridge University college Trinity Hall, this bank specialises in loans and savings for small and medium businesses.

17. Cater Allen Private Bank

Cater Allen is a private bank. It was established in 1816 and is now a subsidiary of Santander.

18. C.Hoare & Co

The oldest bank in the UK, it remains family owned. It provides private banking services to high-net-worth clients.

19. Close Brothers

Close Brothers specialises in merchant banking and was founded in 1978.

20. Clydesdale Bank (part of the National Australia Bank Group)

This commercial bank in Scotland is the smallest of the three Scottish banks. It was founded in 1838.

21. Co-operative Bank

The bank offers both retail and commercial services. Its biggest selling point is its commitment to business ethics.

22. Coutts & Co (part of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group)

This private bank was founded in 1692. It is one of the oldest banks in the world and now handles wealth management for the Royal Bank of Scotland.

23. DB(UK)Bank (part of Deutsche Bank)

This bank in London helps its clients connect to the rest of the world. It is one of the largest employers in the City of London, with over 8,000 employees.

24. Drummonds (part of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group)

Drummonds is one of the oldest banks in the UK. It was founded in 1792 and it offers personal and business banking services.

25. Gatehouse Bank

Offering savings accounts mortgages and loans, with a focus on the build-to-rent market, this is a Sharia-compliant bank based in London.

26. Halifax

The trading brand of Lloyds Banking Group (LBG), with a history dating back to 1853.

27. Hodge Bank

This Welsh bank was formed in 1987. Its services are available to both private and commercial clients in the UK.

28. HSBC

One of the biggest banking and financial services organisations in the world. It has offices in over 80 countries.

29. ICICI Bank UK (a subsidiary of ICICI Bank)

This Indian multinational bank is the second-largest bank in India, with services available in the UK and other countries.

30. ING Direct

A Dutch multinational bank that offers insurance services, direct banking, commercial banking, asset management and retail banking in the UK.

31. Kingdom Bank

Founded in the early 1950s, this bank operates under Christian principles. The bank provides financial services for charities, individuals and businesses.

32. Kleinwort Benson Private Bank Ltd (Part of the Dresdner Bank AG Group)

This investment bank is now part of the Dresdner Bank AG group, which is one of the biggest banking corporations in Germany.

33. Lloyds Bank (part of Lloyds Banking Group)

This is the largest retail bank in the UK, providing a wide range of services to over 16 million customers.

34. Metro Bank

A retail bank. Upon opening its doors in 2010, it was the first new high street bank in the UK in 150 years.

35. M&S Bank

A retail bank launched in 1985 and operating under HSBC since 2004, it offers current accounts, insurance and savings accounts.

36. NatWest

One of the biggest retail and commercial banks in the UK, with millions of customers.

37. Raphaels Bank

Raphaels is one of the oldest independent banks in the UK. It is a saving and lending bank, with ATMs issuing Euros and Sterling at many locations on the London Underground.

38. Reliance Bank

Owned by the Salvation Army, this bank operates under the principles of Christianity and charity. It was established in 1890 and its services are available to churches, charities, private customers and businesses.

39. The Royal Bank of Scotland

This bank was founded in 1880. It has over 75,000 employees and offers both private and business banking.

40. TSB Bank

Once part of Lloyds, this is a retail and commercial bank with over 500 branches.

41. Sainsbury's Bank (J Sainsbury plc 50%, HBOS 50%)

This British bank was established in 1997 as a joint venture. Its financial services include loans, credit cards and insurance.

42. Santander

This UK bank is a subsidiary of Santander Group, Spain’s largest bank. It was established in 2010 as a merger of Abbey National and Bradford & Bingley.

43. Schroders

This is one of the oldest finance houses in the UK. It specialises in asset management.

44. Scottish Widows

A life insurance and pensions company that has been providing services in the UK since 1815. Part of the Lloyds Banking Group.

45. Shawbrook Bank

Based in Brentwood, Shawbrook offers loans to small and medium-sized businesses.

46. Smile

Part of the Co-operative Bank, Smile was the UK’s first digital bank offering a full range of services.

47. Standard Chartered Bank

This multinational bank has its headquarters in London. It operates over 1,200 branches in over 70 countries. It is based in the UK but does not offer retail banking in the UK.

48. Starling Bank

A newly formed digital-only bank offering current accounts and business banking.

49. Tandem Bank

A British bank focused on offering credit services and savings through online banking apps.

50. Tesco

This is the banking arm of Tesco supermarket. It was established in the 1990s.

51. Vanquis Bank

Part of the Provident Financial Group, Vanquis offers credit cards and bonds to those with a poor credit history.

52. Virgin Money

This bank was founded in 2000. It purchased assets from Northern Rock in 2012 and hence gained its popularity.

53. Weatherbys Private Bank

Provides banking services to the horse-racing industry, and has done so since 1770.

54. Wesleyan Assurance Society

A mutual that provides financial products to specific professionals such as doctors, teachers and lawyers. The bank is based in Birmingham and was founded in 1841.

55. Yorkshire Bank (part of the National Australia Bank Group)

This commercial bank was founded in 1859. It is a division of the Clydesdale Bank.

Building Societies

56. Barnsley Building Society

This building society provides a variety of financial products including real estate service, savings and mortgages.

57. Bath Investment & Building Society

This building society offers specialised mortgage services to students and first-time buyers.

58. Beverley Building Society

Founded in 1866, this independent building society in East Yorkshire only has one branch, but is still one of the 50 largest building societies in the UK due to its assets.

59. Buckinghamshire Building Society

Founded in 1907, this award-winning building society has around 1,000 borrowers. It is a mutual society, which means it is owned by its members.

60. The Cambridge Building Society

This mutual building society focuses on home insurance, mortgages and savings.

61. Chelsea Building Society

This building society is known for its variety of savings accounts. It joined the Yorkshire Building Society in 2010 and its branded products and services are now only available online.

62. Chorley & District Building Society

This building society has three branches in Lancashire, UK.

63. Coventry Building Society

This is the second-largest building society in the UK. It has more than 1.5 million savers and 350,000 borrowers.

64. Darlington Building Society

This building society was founded in 1856. It offers savings accounts, home insurance and mortgages.

65. Dudley Building Society

This building society has been providing savings accounts and mortgages since 1858. It has six branches.

66. Earl Shilton Building Society

Based in Leicestershire, and in existence for over 150 years.

67. Ecology Building Society

This building society aims to build a more sustainable society. It offers commercial and residential mortgages to projects with an environmental focus.

68. Furness Building Society

This independent building society was established in 1865 and is one of the 20 largest in the UK. It provides mortgage services and financial advice.

69. Hanley Economic Building Society

Hanley Economic Building Society offers award-winning savings accounts, mortgages and financial advice.

70. Harpenden Building Society

Founded in 1953, this building society provides mortgages and investments, while trying to support projects in the local community.

71. Hinckley & Rugby Building Society

Offers a wide range of mortgage schemes and competitive savings accounts, with a history dating back to 1861.

72. Ipswich Building Society

Ipswich Building Society is a mutual organisation. Members enjoy benefits such as membership events, consultation and member-exclusive products.

73. Kent Reliance Building Society

In the period between 2003 and 2008, this building society was ranked as the fastest-growing in the UK. It is the trading name of OneSavings Bank plc.

74. Leeds Building Society

The fifth-biggest in the UK, Leeds Building Society serves around 700,000 customers. It was established in 1875.

75. Leek United Building Society

Known as ‘the friendlier face of finance’, this building society is one of the oldest independent mutuals in the UK.

76. Loughborough Building Society

This building society has been helping people with their mortgage needs for 150 years.

77. Manchester Building Society

The building society was established in 1922. It provides mortgages and savings in Manchester.

78. Mansfield Building Society

This building society has been helping people with their mortgage needs since 1870. It is a mutual building society with a history of excellent service.

79. Market Harborough Building Society

Market Harborough Building Society offers bespoke mortgages, loans and savings accounts. It has been in business for over 140 years.

80. Marsden Building Society

This British building society is a member of the Building Societies Association. It was founded in 1860.

81. Melton Mowbray Building Society

This building society was established in 1875. It has more than 40,000 members.

82. Monmouthshire Building Society

This building society has helped its local community with mortgages, savings, investments and insurance since 1875.

83. National Counties Building Society

The National Counties Building Society is known for its straightforward savings and a wide range of mortgage plans.

84. Nationwide Building Society

This is the largest building society in the world, and was established in 1846. It is a merger of over one hundred companies.

85. Newbury Building Society

Whether you are buying a home or getting a new mortgage product, this building society can help. It has been in business since 1856 and is one of the oldest in the UK.

86. Newcastle Building Society

The services of this building society include mortgages, savings and financial planning. It has 28 locations.

87. Norwich & Peterborough Building Society

The N&P is the trading name for Yorkshire Building Society. It is a merger of the Peterborough and Norwich building societies.

88. Nottingham Building Society

Founded in 1849, the Nottingham Building Society has 67 branches across 11 counties.

89. Penrith Building Society

This mutually owned building society has been in operation for over 140 years.

90. Principality Building Society

This building society is based in Cardiff, Wales. It is the sixth-largest in the UK, and was founded in 1860.

91. Saffron Building Society

Founded in 1875; offers savings and mortgages.

92. Scottish Building Society

This building society is the only remaining one in Scotland and is the oldest in the world. It offers a variety of mortgages and savings accounts for all life stages.

93. Skipton Building Society

This society was established in 1853. Its headquarters is in North Yorkshire. It has over one million members and 100 branches.

94. Stafford Railway Building Society

This building society was founded by railway workers in 1877 and is based in Stafford, UK.

95. Swansea Building Society

This local building society offers self-employed and self-build mortgages, as well as unique savings accounts.

96. Teachers Building Society

Teachers Building Society was founded to help teachers buy their first homes; it continues to support education professionals today.

97. Tipton & Coseley Building Society

Has four branches in the heart of the West Midlands. It is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority.

98. Vernon Building Society

With six branches in the Stockport area, Vernon Building Society is an independent, mutual building society and is a member of the Building Societies Association.

99. West Bromwich Building Society

The building society has over 40,000 members. It has been in business for over 165 years and its main goal is to enable people to buy homes and save.

100. Yorkshire Building Society

This society offers a lot of services including insurance, mortgages, savings and life planning. It has over 3 million members and is the third-largest building society in the UK.

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