A bank is defined as a financial institution that is licensed to deal with money and its substitutes by accepting time and demand deposits, making loans, and investing in securities. The bank generates profits from the difference in the interest rates charged and paid. Banking in the United Kingdom officially started in the 17th century, when King Henry VII declared the ‘Royal Mint’ an unsafe place to keep gold or money. At that time, goldsmiths extended their services to the ones in need. They came to be known as ‘keepers of running cash’. Then, in 1650, the first ever bank in the UK was established by a simple cloth merchant: Thomas Smith. Following that was the formation of the Bank of England, in 1964. The Industrial Revolution also resulted in a lot of new banks and investment companies. From then onward, banking in the UK became popular and came to be used by the common man.
Presently, banks in the UK provide all sorts of facilities to their customers and make banking convenient for them. Almost all banks offer the same sort of incentives to their customers, with only the interest rates differing. Technological advancements in banking have also allowed clients to have better access to their accounts. Now in the age of social networks and P2P file sharing it seems banking is entering the age of social networking. In recent years the USA and UK have seen a number of social lending websites set up to lend money person to person or to group in need and now savings accounts are integrating with Facebook. Social banking effectively employs new information technology or Web 2.0 or the popularization of web-based applications. Its "new generation" approach led to the moniker banking 2.0 because it integrates general banking concepts and systems with the social aspects of the web.
UK has over 600 banks, which are all highly competitive and efficient. Their clients trust these banks, though none of the banks in the UK is counted among the safest banks of the world. The Bank of England, one of the earliest banks of UK, still has a monopoly on the issue of banknotes in England and Wales. It is a reliable place and a good choice for anyone who wants to keep his assets safe. The Lloyds TSB bank has gained much recognition for its outstanding banking conveniences. It offers Internet and mobile services to its customers who find it really helpful. Barclays is an international bank, with its headquarters and main administration established in London, England. As of 2010 it was the world's 10th-largest banking and financial services group and 21st-largest company according to a composite measure by Forbes magazine. These are UK’s top functional banks, which are responsible for a lot of developments in the UK banking system.
Tips and comments:
Banking in UK has greatly transformed over the years and turned into a global system. The developed banks of UK offer mobile, SMS, telephonic and online services to their users. To choose one bank in the UK is extremely difficult but I’d go for Barclays as it has expanded its network around the globe. Also, it is technologically highly developed which makes it a better option. So, day by day banking in UK becomes better and better to match up to global standards.