Banking

The 5 Best Banks in the UK in 2022

best banks in the UK

Choosing the right bank to open a new bank account can be an intimidating task. It’s also difficult to decide on which bank is truly the best because customers’ experience may vary.

In this article, we gathered some information that could give you a bigger picture of how these banks compare to one another.

We’ve considered different factors that contribute to a bank's overall rating including their total assets, the number of customers, monthly fees, customer satisfaction (based on comments on Trustpilot), and the key features of that bank.

With this information, we hope to help you decide which bank will best fit your needs.

All information provided below is dated November 22 and may have been updated since.

The Nationwide Building Society

The Nationwide Building Society is headquartered in Swindon, England.

The largest building society in the world can trace its roots all the way back to 1846, but it has not remained stuck in the past.

It has over 15 million members and is the largest building society in the world.

A building society is an institution owned and run by its members, not shareholders.

Its size is the result of over one hundred mergers.

The stability and size of Nationwide certainly help its reputation.

It offers a wide array of services with accounts, mortgages, loans, and credit cards.

About The Nationwide Building Society

  • Total Assets: GBP272.4 billion
  • Trustpilot Customer Rating: 1.7/5 (3,450 reviews)
  • Employment: Over 13,000 employees
  • Customer Base: 16.3 million customers

Key Features

✅ Bank Accounts: For personal and business

✅ Only Business Savings Account, no current account

✅ Online banking

✅ Contactless VISA card

✅ Usually better rates on savings accounts compared to banks

✅ No opening fee and GBP0-13 per month

Lloyds Bank

A British retail and business bank, Lloyds Bank has locations all over England and Wales.

Historically, it has been regarded as one of the "Big Four" clearing banks and the largest retail bank in the United Kingdom.

They also have a deal that allows its customers to be served by Halifax locations in Northern Ireland and Bank of Scotland locations in Scotland.

There were 16 million accounts for both small businesses and individuals as of 2012.

The bank started expanding internationally in 1911, and by 1985, it had representative banking offices in 45 nations, ranging from Argentina to the United States of America.

About Lloyds Bank

  • Total Assets: GBP887 billion
  • Trustpilot Customer Rating: 1.5/5 (3,191 reviews)
  • Employment: 58,000 employees
  • Customer base: 26 million customers

Key Features

✅ Bank Accounts: For personal and business

✅ Current account & Savings account for both personal and business customers

✅ Online banking

✅ Contactless VISA card

✅ Strong presence in retail banking

✅ No fee on opening and GBP0-24 monthly fee

HSBC UK

HSBC UK is one of the four major clearing banks in the United Kingdom. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of HSBC Holdings, which is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organizations. 

The headquarters of HSBC in the UK is located at One Centenary Square in Birmingham and was founded in 1865 during the then-British colony of British Hong Kong.

Through its global businesses Wealth and Personal Banking, Commercial Banking, and Global Banking & Markets, HSBC serves 40 million customers worldwide.

HSBC has a brand name that is recognized all over the world and covers the banking needs of a large variety of customers.

About HSBC UK

  • Total Assets: GBP346 billion (HSBC UK only)
  • Trustpilot Customer Rating: 1.3/5 (7,033 reviews)
  • Employment: 220,000 employees
  • Customer Base: 40 million

Key Features

✅ Bank Accounts: For personal and business

✅ Multi-currency account supporting 14 currencies for personal and business customers

✅ Online banking

✅ Contactless VISA and Mastercard

✅ International brand recognition

✅ No opening and monthly fee for personal customers

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)

The Royal Bank of Scotland is a major retail and commercial bank in Scotland. 

It is one of the retail banking subsidiaries of NatWest Group, together with NatWest (in England and Wales) and Ulster Bank. 

The Royal Bank has around 700 branches, mostly in Scotland, though there are branches in many larger towns and cities throughout England and Wales. 

They offer a full range of banking and insurance services, including traditional branches, phone and internet banking, and 'mobile branches'.

They were launched in 1946 and currently, 19 mobile branches exist. The mobile branches are specially equipped vans that travel to rural areas to provide banking services outside of the main cities.

About RBS

  • Total Assets: GBP106.1 billion
  • Trustpilot Customer Rating: 1.4/5 (670 reviews)
  • Employment: Over 71,000 employees
  • Customer base: 19 million customers

Key Features

✅ Bank Accounts: For personal and business

✅ Current accounts & Savings accounts for personal customers

✅ Online banking

✅ Contactless Mastercard debit card

✅ Technologically advanced banking infrastructure

✅ No opening and GBP0-31 monthly fee

Barclays

The bank's history goes all the way back to 1690.

The original Barclays came from two "goldsmith" bankers, whose business depended on their personal reputation.

Their name comes from one of the first partners they took on, and it's been a famous name in UK banking for over 300 years.

Barclays has over 4,750 branches in about 55 countries of which 1,600 are located in the United Kingdom. The company also offers some personal banking services through Post Office branches.

It offers a full range of personal financial services including wealth management and investment banking.

About Barclays

  • Total Assets: GBP1.384 trillion
  • Trustpilot Customer Rating: 1.4/5 (7,604 reviews)
  • Employment: Over 81,800 employees
  • Customer base: 48 million customers

Key Features

✅ Bank Accounts: For personal and business

✅ Current accounts & Savings accounts for both personal and business customers

✅ Online banking

✅ Contactless VISA and Mastercard

✅ Large international network

✅ No opening and GBP0-20 (waivable) monthly fee

Alternatives to Traditional Banking

These days traditional banks are facing a digitally fluent audience who would prefer a digital engagement experience with their banking needs than a traditional experience.

Rather than physically visiting a branch to access their bank account, they would rather prefer an online or mobile banking experience. This goes for both personal and commercial banking.

Over the last two decades, we have seen dramatic changes in the way financial services are delivered thanks to the advent of fintech.

In fact, the UK is considered one of the leading global fintech hubs. Just in 2022, there were around 2,500 fintechs companies in Britain.

In trying to choose a fintech solution, you may wonder which one to go for. To help you know more about some of these options, we've created some reviews of business accounts and personal accounts located in the UK.

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