Top banks for businesses in the UK

Top five banks for businesses in the U.K

When it comes to top ranking in the banking sector people start thinking about numbers immediately but, is that all there is to banking? Certainly not! Another important key area is customer satisfaction. Our list of Top five banks in the United Kingdom aims to give you a better insight on what the Banks with large assets may lack when large assets holding is not the criterion.

Starting with the numbers, in 2008, Britain’s largest assets holding banks were struggling to raise their numbers until 2011 when numbers finally stabilized and these giants started to hold a better position. However, analysts confirmed that their profits have not and may never reach the pre-crises levels. These big fishes of banking in the United Kingdom have managed to hold the top five positions when it comes to asset holdings. Interesting enough there is little change in the top five banks all these years.


HSBC, the top ranked bank even back then, held £1,736 billion in assets in 2008. With a customer base of over 50 million people across the globe and dual primary listing on Hong Kong Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange HSBC still stands first with £1,643 in assets.

2. Barclays

Times are certainly very good for Barclays stood at number four in 2008 with £ 2,320 billion in assets. Crunching numbers certainly paid off for Barclays in the recent years, although this 300 years old institution is still struggling with its brand image. It currently holds £1480 billion in assets and second spot on the top five list.

3. Royal Bank of Scotland Group

Partly owned by the government Royal Bank of Scotland group’s assets stood at £2,508 billion in 2008 but the total market value was lower than HSBC making it second biggest fish of banking in the United Kingdom. Now in 2014 with around 2100 branches and over one million employees Royal Bank of Scotland holds £1,213 billion in assets and third spot of banking in the United Kingdom.

4. Lloyds Banking Group

Lloyds Banking Group suffered the biggest loss in the history of banking in the United Kingdom but it’s not that bad now that the government owns over 40% shares. In 2008, the bank held £1195 billion in assets and the third position but now it holds £832 billion in assets, however the good news is taxpayers own a huge chunk of these assets.

5. Standard Chartered Bank

Standard charted made a better equity return in the top five and more than doubled its assets in last few years. The tiniest giant of banking in the United Kingdom consistently maintained its position as the fifth largest bank of the United Kingdom. Its assets stood at £299 billion in 2008 and after six years of hard work its assets now stand at £499 in 2014.

Enough of the dry number talk now let’s take a look at who stood where when it comes to the small things that matter to the customers. You would be amazed to see where these top five giants of banking in the United Kingdom stand as far as the customer satisfaction is concerned.

Our giant HSBC regretfully stood at number 12 in a recent survey conducted by Useful Banking. Over 9000 British consumers rated their banks into three simple categories: Great, Ok and Poor. HSBC secured 44% Great votes, 42% Ok votes and 15% Poor votes. That’s not it our giant number 2 Barclay stood at 9 with 48%, 40% and 13% percent votes in these categories respectively. Lloyd following in the footsteps of its competitors stood at 11 with 47% great, 40% Ok and 13% Ok votes. Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Chartered did not even make it into the top 15 list. Bank of Scotland is fighting to decrease customer complaints – probably after Barclay fiasco – but still has a long way to go to make another good impression.

1. First Direct

Yes, our giant is not a total failure after all. HSBC’s independently operating telephone and internet-based retail bank division First Direct managed to secure this position with 93% great, 6% Ok and 1% poor votes. These numbers were 91%, 7% and 2% respectively, in February 2013.

2. The Co-Operative Bank

Looks like staying ethical and deciding not to invest in arms trade, fossil fuel extraction, genetic engineering, animal testing and of course the hard work paid off well for Co-Operative Bank. It stands on the second most satisfying bank for the consumers with 76% great, 18% ok and 6% poor votes.

3. Santander – 123 Accounts

Well the Spaniards certainly know how to keep their consumers happy. Santander is offering its 123 account holders monthly cash backs on selected household bills, monthly interest of 3% with a $2 monthly account fee. This just might be the reason or the customers truly feel satisfied with the services, either ways Santander received 75%, 20% and 5% votes in great, ok and poor sections respectively.

4. Nationwide Bank

The building society secured a better position than the giants when it comes to customer satisfaction. It secured 73% great, 22% ok and 5% poor votes in the survey. They have improved their numbers by a large margin from last year when they stood at 66%, 28% and 6% in a similar survey.

5. Santander – all services

This may sound a bit unfair to other banks and did not provide a rationale for dividing Santander services into two halves but then again they did the same with HSBC only because First Direct operates indecently. Our Spanish friends are indeed doing it better than our local giants. Santander secured 62% great votes, the margin is noticeable when it comes to its 123 services but better than other banks on the survey list. It secured 27% and 11% votes in ok and good categories.

It is quite evident that customer satisfaction is not the priority for our giants of banking in the United Kingdom. But is it really so or is it really hard because to make money and keep people satisfied at the same time is not the priority? HSBC stands first in the numbers game however its division First Direct managed to win hearts by working independently. Whatever the reasons may be, the people have spoken and they demand better services from all their banks else, they are ready to reject the giants and take their business to those who care.

Fire safety in your workplace

Keeping your workplace safe from the dangers of fire

2006 would be a year of change for businesses, with the new Fire Safety Order coming in to force. Therefore, the way that fire safety was imposed in workplaces was completely transformed, with several pieces of legislation being superceded. The duty for fire safety within the premises has become that of the premises owner, managing agent, or people in charge of the property, not that of the fire brigade. It was currently the job of business owners to make sure fire safety measures like risk assessments, emergency action plans, and the testing and upkeep of safety equipment, were being satisfied and were in place. Even though there are varying levels of risk in different premises, they are nearly all covered by the regulatory reform fire safety order.

Fire assessments should be performed regularly and are there to determine not only locations where fires may be more likely to start, or materials/areas that could allow a fire to build up strength, but also any conditions that personnel may possibly face in the course of an evacuation due to a fire.

Any time you are looking at fire safety in the workplace, recognising the risks that are present in your building are very important, however, you should also evaluate the necessary devices which can be used in the event of a fire. Simply by having such fire protection equipment in place, you are able to help guarantee the safety of your staff.

Dry Riser systems will often be present in large multi storey premises. Even so, a lot of us do not understand precisely what a dry riser system is and also exactly why they are so useful. A dry rising fire main basically is made up of a pipe that extends from the bottom level of the premises to the top, with landing valves on each and every level. Water may be pumped directly into the system from ground level, with the fire service able to swiftly link up their hoses to the valves closest to the fire (see

Dry rising fire mains work well where the building may be of complex design. Having said that, they can be subject to vandalism and neglect, and in the worse case scenario may not even work if needed. Keeping this in mind, it is recommended to look at dry rising fire mains on a regular basis to ensure they’re functional.

Generally dry rising fire mains would only be present in larger sized premises, and in smaller sized buildings you would generally be more reliant on portable fire fighting products such as .

If you require additional advice on fire safety at work then you can always start by speaking with the local fire and rescue service, who’ll normally readily provide you just about any advice or info that you might require. To help increase your knowledge of fire and safety there’s also a number of online resources in addition to a number of books available from local libraries and government buildings.

Information about public liability insurance

Public Liability Insurance

Any entrepreneur must prepare in advance for losses that may occur in the course of their business undertaking. This is because accidents do occur to anyone leaving them with no time to act. Public liability insurance therefore is one necessity for any business. A small slip can let you down by claiming lot of pounds in case you don’t plan well. There are various circumstances that can call you to have public liability insurance.

Some include the following;

In case you have visitors or customers or suppliers who visit your business premise or office. A situation may occur when such people are still within your premises and result to losses to such people. They will in turn make claims from you. Secondly, when you have someone else working on your part, their actions may damage other people’s property resulting in them claiming from you. Thirdly, in case you are working for other people, you can cause losses while conducting such activities. In situations above, public liability ensures that you are always covered.

When taking public liability, one should always be vigilant in considering the amount of cover to take. Most public liability companies in UK charge premiums from £1 million which can sound a huge amount. However, in case you are a business person running a high risk business, this is considerably cheap in case an accident occurs. Small and Medium Enterprises are normally charged up to a maximum limit of £10 million for taking public liability cover. One risk that individuals are advised to avoid is the issue of under-insurance. This may even render you being not insured at the end. At some points, you may be covered under the local authority plan where there is a minimum set amount to pay say £5 million which serves as the minimum amount for meeting their term and conditions.

This is how to choose the right public liability insurance cover. First compare the various public liability plans available. Normally, the entrepreneurs who run large business organizations take those quotes with higher level of cover. Such businesses have higher contact with the third party individuals. Such individuals include those owning large shops, theatres, pubs and clubs. Another example is those owning chemical companies. In case you are an entrepreneur who works from home or office, you can consider taking a low level cover of public liability insurance policy. This is when clients do not visit you frequently.

Public liability insurance does not cover losses that occur to you, your property or even your workers. This is because such losses are covered by your business insurance cover. Various factors are taken into consideration when calculating how much premium you will be required to pay for public liability insurance cover. Some of them include the risks that you transfer to your insurer, level of insurance you need and the size of your business. It is advisable that you compare the various prices offered by various insurers before taking public liability cover. This is because there are a variety of them in the market currently.