The UK banking industry is the fourth largest globally and the largest in Europe. There are approximately 350 banks in the United Kingdom (including 160 foreign deposit taking institutions) as well as 47 building societies who have permission to accept deposits. The banking segment is dominated by the four largest lenders: HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds and RBS Group. The Bank of England, established on July 27, 1694, is the central bank of the country and the second oldest central bank in the world. Here is our list of the largest and best banks in the UK in terms of total assets.

HSBC

HSBC Holdings plc is the largest bank in the UK by assets and market capitalization. With around 40 million clients, it operates over 3,800 branches and offices worldwide and employs more than 235,000 people. The company’s key business areas are commercial and private banking, retail banking, wealth management, and global banking and markets. It was named World’s Best Bank for Corporates, World's Best Bank for public-sector and World’s Best Bank for Transaction Services by Euromoney; Best Private Bank in the UK by PWM/The Banker and Most Innovative Investment Bank of the Year by The Banker. As of December 31, 2019, HSBC had total assets of $2.7 trillion, loans of $1.04 trillion, customer deposits of $1.4 trillion and shareholders’ equity of $184 billion.

Barclays

Barclays plc is the second largest bank in the UK. It offers personal and corporate banking, wealth management, insurance, foreign exchange, savings and current accounts, mortgages, credit and debit cards, money transfer, online banking and other services through one of the largest branch and ATM network in the United Kingdom. The company employs about 80,000 people and is headquartered in London. Barclays was named Best Investment Bank in the UK as well as Best Bank for Financing in Western Europe by Euromoney. In 2019, the company’s revenue and net income were US$28 billion and US$4.4 billion, respectively.

Lloyds Banking Group

Lloyds Banking Group is the third largest banking group in the United Kingdom in terms of total assets. The company’s main business lines include retail and commercial banking, corporate banking, life and non-life insurance, and pension and investment services. The Group’s subsidiaries include Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland, Scottish Widows, Lloyds Development Capital, Agricultural Mortgage Corporation, Black Horse Limited and Lex Autolease Limited, among others. Lloyds Bank was named the best UK bank in Western Europe by Global Finance. The company was founded in 1765 and is listed on the London and New York Stock exchanges.

Royal Bank of Scotland

Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (RBS Group), headquartered in Edinburgh, is a banking and financial services company with about 70,000 employees. It is the fourth largest bank in the UK in terms of total assets. The Group operates through a number of well-known brands including NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, Ulster Bank, Coutts & Co., Adam & Company, Child & Co., Drummonds, Holt's, Isle of Man Bank and Lombard. For the year ended December 31, 2019, RBS recorded £14.3 billion in revenue, £3.8 billion in profit after tax and £44 billion in total equity. The company's market capitalization was US$17.5 billion as of May 8, 2020.

Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered plc (LSE: STAN; OTC Pink: SCBFF) is a global financial services organization with over 84,000 employees and 1,025 branches. It has operations in over 60 markets and offers consumer and wholesale banking services including deposits, personal and business loans, wealth management, mortgages, auto finance, mergers and acquisition advisory, online banking, international money transfer (or wire transfers) and more. Global Finance named Standard Chartered “Best Consumer Digital Bank”. In Q4 2019, it had GBP 550 billion in total assets. The company's shares are traded on the London and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges and the US OTC securities market.

Santander UK

Santander UK plc is the largest foreign bank in the country as well as the 3rd largest mortgage lender and 5th largest commercial lender in the UK. The company provides savings and investment accounts, personal and mortgage loans, car loans, business lending, insurance as well as a range of credit cards including everyday credit card, all in one credit card, zero credit card and Santander World Elite MasterCard. At December 2019, Santander UK Group Holdings had £289 billion in total assets and £205 billion in customer loans of which £165 billion in retail mortgages. Santander UK is a wholly owned subsidiary of Spanish giant Banco Santander.

Virgin Money

Virgin Money UK plc (previously CYBG plc) is the 7th largest bank in the UK by assets. It offers a wide array of retail and business banking services including cash ISAs, stocks and shares ISAs, fixed term accounts, mortgages, unit trusts, life and travel insurance, auto insurance, pension and retirement products, international money transfers, commission-free currency with great exchange rates, travel credit cards, all round and purchase credit cards, prepaid cards, online and telephone banking and much more. The company’s stock is traded on the London Stock Exchange and the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

The Co-operative Bank

The Co-operative Bank is a British retail and commercial bank based in Manchester. It offers current and savings accounts, consumer and mortgage loans, credit cards, insurance, pre-paid funeral plans, asset management, project finance, treasury services, and mobile and online banking. The Co-operative Bank is covered by Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). FSCS pay compensation if financial services firms fail.

Metro Bank

Metro Bank plc is a high street bank launched in the summer of 2010. Metro Bank is the revolution in the UK banking. The Bank's 56 stores are open 362 days a year, 7 days a week, and from 8 am - 8 pm on weekdays. It was named Most Trusted Current Account Provider, Most Trusted Financial Provider and Most Trusted Savings & Cash ISA Provider by MoneyWise. The company is based in Holborn, London and employs about 3,500 people. As of September 30, 2019, it reported £15 billion in customer loans and £14 billion in customer deposits.

Tesco Bank

Tesco Bank is the UK retail bank owned by Tesco plc, one of the largest retailers in the world based on revenue. The Bank offers current accounts and savings products, credit cards, loans, mortgages and travel money with competitive foreign exchange rates. You can buy foreign currency in more than 300 travel money bureaux in Tesco stores across the United Kingdom. The company also offers car insurance, pet insurance, home insurance, travel insurance as well as telephone, online and mobile banking, and in-store services.

See also: Banking in the UKAtom Bank, Monzo Bank, Monese Ltd, Revolut, Tandem Bank, Smile, Foreign Banks

Top 10 Banks in the UK by total assets

Here is a list of the 10 largest banks in the United Kingdom ranked by assets in billions of British Pounds.

Rank Bank Total assets, £b (December 31, 2019)
1 HSBC Holdings 2,073.70
2 Barclays 1,140.23
3 Lloyds Banking Group 833.893
4 Royal Bank of Scotland Group 723.039
5 Standard Chartered 550.214
6 Santander UK 281.702
7 Virgin Money UK ^ 90.999 *
8 The Co-operative Bank 23.436
9 Metro Bank 21.400
10 Tesco Bank ^^ 11.645

^ Virgin Money UK plc was formerly known as CYBG plc. The company's brands are Clydesdale Bank, Yorkshire Bank, B and Virgin Money.
^^ Tesco Bank is a trading name of Tesco Personal Finance Group plc (TPFG).
* Data as of September 30, 2019.

Top 5 Banks in the UK by Market Capitalization

Following are the 5 largest banks in the UK ranked by market capitalization in billions of US dollars.

Rank Bank Market cap, US$b (April 27, 2020)
1 HSBC Holdings $103.7 B
2 Lloyds Banking Group $26.3 B
3 Barclays $19.1 B
4 Royal Bank of Scotland $15.9 B
5 Standard Chartered $14.8 B
6 Virgin Money UK $1.24 B