Number of Banks within the U.Okay.


I don’t percentage many Americans’ bizarre fascination with the United Kingdom, however I am getting it. Its royal circle of relatives is hilariously out of contact with truth, its political gadget makes ours glance useful via comparability, and the gradual decline of its pop culture within the age of streaming TV is directly unhappy and pleasant to watch. (Paul, Prue: Please, you don’t want to do that.)

Also, it’s known as football.

Anyway, as a result of I speak about banking for a residing and since I’m curious the place Paul Hollywood stashes all of the money he’s minted off “The Great British Bake Off/Baking Show,” my fascination with the U.Okay. specializes in its monetary gadget, which has so much in commonplace with our personal. To get started, Money Crashers information analyst Jonathon Watterson and I set out to respond to a elementary query about mentioned gadget: How many banks does the United Kingdom have?

Here’s what we discovered.

Number of Banks within the U.Okay. – How Many Are There?

The United Kingdom has 357 Monetary Financial Institutions (MFIs), or banks licensed to just accept deposits within the U.Okay. Of those, 130 are headquartered within the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom’s inhabitants used to be 67.33 million in 2021. That approach there’s one MFI for each and every 188,599 other folks residing within the United Kingdom. 

For comparability, the United States had 4,844 industrial banks on the finish of 2021, in keeping with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. That equates to 1 financial institution for each and every 68,518 other folks residing within the United States, going off the 2021 Census estimate of 331.9 million Americans.

So, adjusting for inhabitants, the United States has about 2.75 instances extra banks than the United Kingdom. Despite a multidecade decline within the choice of banks running within the U.S., our monetary gadget is extra fragmented than our buddies around the pond.

Where Did We Get This Data?

We were given this knowledge from the Bank of England (BoE), the United Kingdom’s central financial institution and its an identical of the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States. Name however, the BoE is the central financial institution for all the United Kingdom: England plus Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

The BoE helps to keep an inventory of all banks and construction societies (member-owned establishments very similar to American credit score unions) licensed to just accept deposits within the United Kingdom. It calls those establishments Monetary Financial Institutions.

What Exactly Is a Monetary Financial Institution?

“Monetary Financial Institution” is only a shorter manner of claiming “banks and construction societies licensed to function within the United Kingdom.” To be integrated within the BoE’s rely of MFIs within the U.Okay., a monetary establishment will have to meet two checks:

  1. Have some kind of operational presence within the U.Okay.
  2. Accept deposits from other folks within the U.Okay.

Financial establishments that experience workplaces within the U.Okay. however don’t settle for deposits from other folks within the U.Okay. won’t rely as MFIs. Specialized companies like hedge budget don’t rely as MFIs both. Nor do fintech apps that aren’t chartered as banks, despite the fact that they’re related to U.Okay.-based monetary establishments and despite the fact that U.Okay.-based other folks can obtain and use them. 

Otherwise, the BoE’s checklist of MFIs is complete. If you ever want to open an account at a financial institution within the United Kingdom, you’ll achieve this with an MFI on that checklist.

Why Does the U.S. Have So Many More Banks Than the U.Okay.?

The United States’ monetary gadget is extra fragmented than the United Kingdom’s partially as it covers an enormous geographical space that it spent the primary century-plus of its life (3 centuries in case you return to early Colonial instances) increasing and populating.

Even after railroads and telegraphs and the phone revolutionized go back and forth and conversation, it made sense for far-flung rural cities and villages to have their very own banks. Farmers, who till moderately lately made up a plurality of the rustic’s personnel, wanted consistent capital infusions to stay solvent. So did the swiftly rising, diversifying industry group fueling the growth of American production and out of the country business.

The outcome used to be a posh patchwork of small monetary establishments that fed into (and steadily consolidated with) greater establishments in established and rising regional monetary facilities like Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, and San Francisco. Since the Nineteen Seventies, this community has slowly pruned itself again thru consolidation and a loss of new financial institution formation, nevertheless it stays dense via world requirements.

By distinction, the U.Okay. has a way smaller land space and a far other financial historical past. Though its inhabitants did develop swiftly all over the Industrial Revolution, spurring a wave of recent monetary establishments within the nation’s commercial north, the U.Okay. had no use for an enormous cohort of tiny banks that seem redundant via nowadays’s requirements. And while the U.S. has a number of main monetary facilities, the U.Okay. has most effective London.

Where Are These Banks Headquartered?

The majority of MFIs running within the U.Okay. aren’t headquartered there.

About one in 3, or 130 establishments, do have U.Okay. headquarters. The subsequent biggest country-of-origin class is “Other,” which covers all non-European international locations no longer integrated within the Bank of England’s definition of “evolved economies.” Major international locations on this class come with:

  • China
  • India
  • Brazil
  • Egypt
  • Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates

“Other” is intently adopted via the European Union, with 69 establishments. Some of the European Union-headquartered banks doing industry within the U.Okay. additionally seem on our checklist of the most important banks on the earth.

Then comes the “Other Developed” class, with 42 banks. This covers non-European Union international locations the Bank of England considers “evolved,” corresponding to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea.

Next is “America,” which is British for “the United States.” There are 24 U.S.-based banks doing industry within the U.Okay. presently.

Last however no longer least, Japan will get its personal class. There are 10 Japanese banks running within the U.Okay.

The very largest banks running within the U.Okay. are most commonly headquartered in China and the United States.

For starters, each and every of China’s “large 4” state-owned banks — which additionally occur to be the 4 largest banks on the earth — has an running license within the U.Okay.:

  • Bank of China
  • Agricultural Bank of China
  • China Construction Bank
  • Industrial & Commercial Bank of China

The “large 4” U.S.-based banks, all of that are additionally within the most sensible 20 largest banks on the earth, have a presence within the U.Okay. as smartly:

  • JPMorgan Chase (Chase Bank)
  • Bank of America
  • Citibank
  • Wells Fargo

All however Wells Fargo have a couple of subsidiaries running within the United Kingdom.

A couple of U.Okay.-based banks are value writing house about, size-wise. The largest via far is London-based HSBC Holdings, adopted via Barclays Bank. If both or each sound acquainted, it’s as a result of each have important U.S. operations.

Six U.Okay.-based banks had no less than €100 billion in belongings as of December 31, 2021, in keeping with S&P Global:

Rank Bank Name Assets in billions (€)
1 HSBC Holdings 2,517.14
2 Barclays Bank 1,648.16
3 Lloyds Banking Group 1,055.52
4 NatWest Group 931.06
5 Standard Chartered 727.90
6 Nationwide Building Society 332.52

Final Word

The United Kingdom has about 130 homegrown banks. Approximately 230 others have permission to just accept deposits from other folks within the United Kingdom.

That seems like a large number of banks, nevertheless it’s a some distance cry from the just about 5,000 industrial banks approved to do industry within the United States. Even after accounting for the United States’ larger inhabitants, the U.S. has many extra banks in step with capita — a legacy of a fragmented frontier monetary gadget.

That doesn’t imply the U.Okay. monetary gadget is awesome. In truth, fierce bank-on-bank festival within the U.S. approach we Americans have heaps of beneficiant new checking account promotions and rewards bank cards to choose between.

Maybe that entire revolution factor used to be a good suggestion in the end.

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