In the Uk we now have more access to our banking facilities than ever before, whether it is Personal Banking or Business Banking. Types of banking include:

Telephone Banking

This type of banking, as with internet banking, does not always have a personal touch, though once you have entered your account information and security details into the automated service, you do usually have the option to speak to a banking cutomer adviser if you choose. A great advantage of phone banking is that most are 24hrs meaning that if you have an urgent question you can speak to someone straight away rather than waiting until morning or even until after the weekend. It is also a very quick and easy way to check your account balance and even pay bills, though always check the terms and conditions of your bank with regards to how long bill payment takes as this is not an immediate process and you don't want to end up with late payment charges.

Online Banking

As with telephone banking this is not a particularly personal service, but sometimes you don't actually want to get into a conversation with someone and in these cases internet banking is ideal. Internet Banking also allows you to check your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year! For those who check their account regularly this is a fantastic way to combat fraud. You will need to request that your account be activated for on line use and your bank will send you a password to enable you to access your account, they would usually ask that as soon as you access your account, you must change your password to one only known by you. Do not keep a copy of this anywhere as this could provide the facility to defraud your account. As with telephone banking you can check your account balance, check transactions on your account and also make payments or transfer funds, as well as activate new cards, request cheque books and lots more.

Local Branch Banking

High Street Banking in branch is still the choice for those looking to speak to someone face to face. As with online and telephone banking you can request Mini Statements, check your transaction history and make payments although most banks do prefer you to request a Mini Statement from an ATM Cash Machine resulting in reduced queues for the cashiers.
Unfortunately some banks have taken the decision to close a number of their branches and this will have affected some people's decisions as to which bank they choose. Although you can bank online or by telephone this is sometimes an option more suited to the younger generation meaning the branch closures have made it more difficult for some senior people who are not always confident over the phone and often do not have internet access.

Other decisions which need to be made are choosing the type of bank account you would like such as a Basic Bank Account or Current Account.

Savings Banks

You may also be looking for a Savings Bank, though these have changed greatly over the years. Savings Banks were originally set up to provide poorer people with somewhere they could deposit and save money, in fact one of the first British Savings Banks was the TSB (Trustees Savings Bank). They functioned very differently from other banks in the sense that the directors were made voluntary trustees of and they did not trade their shares on the stock market.
The TSB floated on the stock market in 1995 and at that time it also merged with Lloyds and became Lloyds TSB, and as most of us have seen recently they have now acquired the Halifax and Bank of Scotland Group (HBOS), and have now for a number of years been much more than a Savings Bank. With regards to Saving, interest rates have dropped significantly lately and due to this people are considering other Investment options and not just putting there money into Savings Accounts.

For some of us, which bank we choose is more about Interest Rates, Overdraft Charges or benefits and as not all banks charge the same nor do they offer the same benefits, it is really worth you doing your research before deciding which bank you want to open a account with and which suits your lifestyle, Income and Expenditure the best.

Savings Accounts

Usually offer a higher rate of interest than current bank accounts and are a low risk option best suited to short to medium term saving. Savings Accounts are also deposit based, meaning that when you choose to withdraw your money you will receive the initial deposit/s plus any interest earned, ensure you do compare the different savings rates available.

Regular Saver Accounts

Are another option and usually offer a higher rate of interest than a standard savings account. You are normally more restricted as to when you can withdraw your money and often terms are that your initial deposit needs remain in your account for at least 12 months. After the restricted non withdrawal term has expired you may find that your interest rate falls significantly and if you decide that you do not necessarily want to withdraw your money, you would probably find it more profitable to move it to another savings account.

Providers of savings accounts in the UK are Bank and Building Societies such as Lloyd's TSB, Post Office savings and National Savings and Investments to name but a few.


(Individual Savings Accounts) have a favourable tax status. Before March 2007 there were two types of ISA, a Mini ISA where annually you could deposit £3000 Cash and £4000 in Stocks and Shares and a Maxi ISA where you could deposit £3000 Cash and £7000 in Stocks and Shares. However in the March 2007 budget the 2008/2009 limits and types of ISA's available were changed.

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Updated on 29th February, 2012

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