Best banks and bank accounts in the UK 2022

Not all banks are born equal. Uncover the best banks in the UK by customer service and the top bank accounts.

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Best banks by customer satisfaction Best banks

Which UK bank comes top for customer satisfaction? Which one polls the best for its online and mobile banking service? And which one gives you good perks if you switch? Here’s how to find the right account to make sure you’re getting the best deal for your money.

Compare the best bank accounts in the UK 2022

Table: sorted by switching bonus
Name Product Ratings Account fees Funding requirement Interest (AER) Arranged overdraft Incentive Representative example Link
OFFER
First Direct Current Account
Finder score
★★★★★
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
★★★★★
£0
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER
An interest-free, arranged overdraft up to £250, then 39.9% EAR (variable)
£130 when you switch.
Current account switch service guarantee badge
Earn 1.00% AER/gross with the linked Regular Saver Account and access a £250 interest-free overdraft (subject to status)
Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200, you’ll be charged interest at 30.5% (0% EAR variable p.a on first £250, 39.9% thereafter).
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OFFER
HSBC Advance Bank Account
Finder score
★★★★★
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
★★★★★
£0
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER
39.9% EAR variable
£150 for new accounts when a minimum of two Direct Debits or Standing Orders are switched using the Current Account Switching Service within 30 days of account opening and pay in at least £1,500 within 60 days of account opening. Plus earn 1.00% AER / gross interest with the linked HSBC Regular Saver.
Current account switch service guarantee badge
Plus earn 1.00% AER / gross interest with the linked HSBC Regular Saver
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OFFER
Everyday Current Account
Finder score
★★★★★
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
★★★★★
£0
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER
39.94% EAR variable
Eligible for Retailer Offers, customers must use online or mobile banking to qualify.
Current account switch service guarantee badge
This everyday account from Santander has no monthly fee and no minimum funding requirements to maintain it, making it ideal for those who are looking for a straightforward, fuss-free bank account. The account offers an arranged overdraft facility and enables you to earn up to 15% cashback with the bank’s Retailer Offers scheme. To activate the scheme, simply switch it on in mobile banking or online banking and spend at certain retailers including the Co-op, Morrisons, Just Eat and Costa. The account can be easily opened online or in branch if you prefer, and it can be managed online, in branch, over the phone or via the app. To qualify you will need to be at least 18 years old and a UK resident.
Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you'll be charged interest at 39.94% EAR variable.
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Revolut Standard
Finder score
★★★★★
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
★★★★★
£0
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER
NA
Join over 18 million Revolut customers and exchange money with no hidden fees.
No account fee. Card delivery charge of £4.99
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Current Account - Age 18 and over
Finder score
★★★★★
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
★★★★★
£0
No minimum funding requirement
0.05% AER
15% EAR variable
No fees overseas.
Current account switch service guarantee badge
No fees for spending or withdrawing cash overseas - currencies are converted at Mastercard’s standard exchange rate
Representative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200 you'll be charged interest at 15% EAR variable.
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Bank account jargon explained

AER. Annual equivalent rate. This is a way of showing the interest you would earn in a year on money you deposited into an account, and helps you to compare accounts.
EAR. Equivalent annual rate. This is the interest rate that applies when you borrow money – when you use your arranged overdraft, for example. It shows the interest you would be charged over a year if your account were to remain overdrawn.
Arranged overdraft. If your account goes into the red, the bank will charge you a set EAR. Before you go overdrawn, you need to arrange this facility with your bank.

Best bank in the UK by customer satisfaction in 2022

In 2022, we published our customer satisfaction survey on current accounts in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Here’s the full list of providers we considered and how many of their customers said they would recommend them to a friend. Learn more about the results and the winners.

Overall satisfactionCustomers who’d recommendIssuerReview
★★★★★88%Halifax logoPart of the wider Lloyds banking group, Halifax has several current account options, ranging from basic accounts up to reward accounts. Many customers in our survey highlighted the quality of both its customer service and its mobile banking app. Read our review
★★★★★87%Starling logoStarling’s digital-only current account is quick to open and efficient to manage, and the app is packed with features. Starling’s customers in our survey praised the app’s functionality and ease of use.Visit Starling
★★★★★86%NatWest logoWith NatWest, you can choose between free current accounts and paid-for rewards accounts. This high street bank made it into the top three this year, with the customers we polled praising its reliable customer service, as well as its online and mobile banking. Read our review
★★★★★84%Lloyds Bank logoAnother big bank that also got five stars in our survey was Lloyds. It offers current accounts that suit a wide range of needs, has a large branch network and has been investing in its digital banking features too. Read our review
★★★★★84%Monzo logoPopular digital challenger bank Monzo offers app-based current accounts that are packed with features, with customers in our survey highlighting the useful money management and savings tools. Read our review
★★★★★83%Nationwide logoThe last building society that does banking on a national level, Nationwide offers a good range of current accounts, some of which come with great incentives and perks, from interest paid on your balance to insurance options. Read our review
★★★★★83%Santander logoHigh street bank Santander comes with all the advantages of a big bank and offers a wide range of current accounts. Among its top-selling points is the option of earning cashback on your bills. Read our review
★★★★★83%Monese logoAnother digital-only account, Monese, is especially good for frequent travellers or people who often have to work across different countries. Overseas purchases and ATM withdrawals can be free, depending on which plan you’ve signed up to, and you can also set up a euro account for free. Read our review
★★★★★81%Barclays logoCurrent accounts by Barclays come recommended by 81% of its customers in our survey. Respondents praised the bank’s helpful customer service, as well as its banking app. Read our review
★★★★★79%Revolut logoRevolut’s multi-currency digital account is good for travelling and for sending money abroad. You can exchange and hold 30 different currencies for free, and also use it as a standard UK current account – although you can’t deposit cash or cheques. Read our review
★★★★★78%First Direct logoKnown for providing great customer service on the phone 24/7, the UK’s first telephone bank and HSBC sibling First Direct only offers one current account. But it’s a solid banking option that’s recommended by nearly four out of five customers in our survey. Read our review
★★★★★78%Royal Bank of Scotland logoRoyal Bank of Scotland is NatWest’s sister bank. Just like its peer, it offers a selection of current accounts that include cashback at selected retailers. Read our review
★★★★★78%HSBC logoHSBC has three everyday current accounts in its roster, depending on your personal circumstances and income. Many of its customers in our survey were long-standing account holders and were pleased with the customer service. Read our review
★★★★★72%TSB logoThe TSB banking brand returned to the UK high street in 2013. Some customers in our survey rated the friendly staff, while others highlighted the bank’s recent branch closures. Read our review
★★★★★72%Virgin Money logoVirgin Money is a relative newcomer to the current account market, launching its offering in 2019. It now has one free and one paid-for current account to choose from, and its customers that we polled were fairly happy with the customer service and banking app. Read our review
★★★★★74%Bank of Scotland logoBank of Scotland is also a subsidiary of the Lloyds banking group. Its bank branches are mainly in Scotland, although you can live elsewhere in the UK to open an account. Its customers in our survey were mostly pleased with its digital banking offering. Read our review
★★★★★68%Metro Bank logoOne of the few challenger banks that also has a network of branches, Metro Bank only offers one current account, whose top feature is that it doesn’t charge you for using the card to make purchases or withdraw cash in Europe. Read our review

Customer satisfaction ratings methodology

In December 2021, we ran a customer satisfaction survey on current accounts. 2,282 people answered and told us how happy (or not) they were with their current account provider.

The survey asked respondents how satisfied they were with their current account on a scale from one to five, and also whether they would recommend their banking provider to a friend or not. We turned the results into star ratings and shortlisted the top-performing brands for our awards. Where there was a draw in terms of star ratings, we used the recommendation score (the percentage of customers who said they would recommend the brand to a friend) as a tie-breaker.

Full details of our star ratings for this sector are on the banking ratings methodology page.

Banking ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

The customer satisfaction score is based on a survey of 2,282 customers carried out in December 2021.

Learn the details of our methodology and scoring.

So, are these the best current accounts available on the market?

These are the current accounts whose customers are most satisfied with their banking provider.

Our customer satisfaction survey asked account holders whether they would recommend their provider to a friend and how they would rate it from one to five. So, a good result in the survey does mean that many people think a certain current account provider does a good job. What it does not mean is that the same account provider is good for everyone.

For example, challenger bank Monzo topped the survey, but if you like going to a branch and discussing your banking options in person, or having loads of different current accounts to choose from, you might be disappointed. It’s all about figuring out your banking style and ultimately choosing the account that’s best for you, not for everyone else.

Which bank account should I choose?

Before you answer this question, you should ask “what do I need from my bank account?”

Work out what you need before comparing the options.

Who are the “big four” banks in the UK?

  • Barclays

    Barclays is a multinational banking and financial services company based in London. It is a universal bank with operations in retail, wholesale and investment banking – as well as wealth management, mortgage lending and credit cards. Barclays has operations in more than 50 countries and around 48 million customers globally.

  • HSBC

    HSBC is another multinational banking and financial services company that is headquartered in London. It is the world’s sixth largest bank by total assets and the largest in Europe and the UK.

  • Lloyds Banking Group

    The Lloyds Banking Group now includes Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland, as well as other financial brands such as Scottish Widows. Lloyds Bank itself is more than 250 years old, having opened in Birmingham in 1765.

  • NatWest Group

    Formerly known as the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, this company includes NatWest, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank. Together, its various banking brands have branches throughout the UK.

The UK’s top banks by assets in 2021

In April 2021, S&P Global published its report on Europe’s 50 largest banks by assets. We have used this data and shown the top ranking UK banks in the list below.

RankBankTotal assets (€bn)
1HSBC Holdings PLC 2439.55
2Barclays PLC 1506.24
3Lloyds Banking Group PLC 972.45
4Natwest Group PLC 892.34
5Standard Chartered PLC645.05
6Nationwide Building Society285.97

Which is the safest bank account?

Safety is a common concern among banking customers, especially for online banking. If you’re keen to discover which banks offer the best safety precautions, check out our guide to the safest banks.

Which banks give you money if you switch?

In order to tempt customers away from their competitors, many banks offer switching incentives including cash bonuses. Click to see our guide on which banks give you money if you switch.

Top current account switching deals with free sign-up cash January 2022

Michelle Stevens
Finder's deputy editor for banking Michelle Stevens shares her thoughts
It's a competitive market out there for current accounts right now, with several banks offering incentives to encourage customers to switch their provider. Whether you're after a cash bonus or other account benefits, here are some of the best options.
  • first direct is running a deal where account switchers get £130 for moving to its 1st Account. Account holders will also benefit from a £250 interest-free overdraft (subject to status) and access to a Regular Saver Account, paying interest of 1% AER gross. You'll need pay in at least £1,000 within three months of opening the 1st Account.
  • Nationwide is still offering a large cash incentive to account switchers, which involves £100 for new Nationwide customers and £125 for existing customers who already have a product with Nationwide (such as a savings account or a mortgage) but no current account with them. To qualify, you'll need to set up a minimum of two active direct debits as part of your switch.
  • HSBC is topping the cash incentive table at the moment with a £150 bonus for switching to its Advance Account. You'll need to pay in at least £1,500 within 60 days of opening the account, plus switch at least two direct debits or standing orders.

How to choose the best bank account

Here are the main factors you’ll want to consider when choosing your bank account.

  • Branch access. If you would like assistance from staff in a local branch, you may base your decision on which banks have branches near your home or workplace.
  • Interest rates. It’s worth comparing which banks offer the best interest rates on in-credit balances, and maybe which ones offer the most generous overdrafts.
  • Incentives. A lot of banks offer “packaged” accounts, which come with gadget insurance, travel insurance, breakdown cover and other incentives. However, these also come with a monthly account fee.
  • Customer service. There are plenty of surveys out there that rate the customer service delivered by the best banks.
  • Other financial products. Some banks offer better mortgage/credit card/savings deals to their current account holders, so bear this in mind if you’re looking for other financial products.

Best bank in the UK by service quality in 2021

Below we have listed the results of the “Personal banking service quality – Great Britain” survey. This independent survey was carried out between July 2020 and June 2021 by Ipsos MORI, and was commissioned by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) as part of a regulatory requirement.

Best bank accounts in the UK by account type

Best forBankAccount
Best for low credit scoresNatWestFoundation account
Best for cashbackSantanderSantander 123 Lite
Best for packaged accountsNationwideFlex Plus
Best for switch incentivesHSBCAdvance
Best for studentsSantanderStudent account
Best for kidsgohenryPrepaid card and app
We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

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6 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    AshleyDecember 22, 2018

    Which bank should I switch to for Brexit?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaDecember 23, 2018Staff

      Hi Ashley,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      As a comparison website, we are not permitted to provide specific recommendations or personalised advice. However, what I can advise is for you to find a bank that best fits your needs, preference, and budget. On this page, we have provided some guides and tips for you to remember when finding a new bank. Please review them before making a decision.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

    Default Gravatar
    DavidNovember 10, 2018

    I am moving back to UK from USA in late Jauary 2019.
    I am a British Citizen born in UK and wish to open a checking & debit card a/c to have my US & UK pension transferred to. How best to arrange this?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaNovember 22, 2018Staff

      Hi David,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      Yes, it is possible that you are able to transfer your money from the US to UK. However, you would need to directly get in touch with your chosen bank to know the exact step on how to do it.

      Moreover, please note that regularly doing a bank to bank money transfer can be costly. You may want to consider other faster and cheaper options here.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

    Default Gravatar
    CustomerMarch 21, 2018

    hello. yea so i want to open a new bank account and i dont know which i should chose i want to save money but again to pay small fees and get some bonus % of my saving money and i want to use my card for shopping online or to take something from like vodafone or to take or to take loan and pay monthly which bank is the best and has good reputation and i will not loose my money> Thank you

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayMarch 22, 2018Staff

      Hi Customer,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Depending on the type of savings account you need, you can compare your options on this page. These savings accounts are offered by reputable banks and let you earn standard and bonus interest rates. Whenever you need to access your account for whatever purpose or reason, you can also withdraw your funds anytime. Please review the details and T&Cs of the accounts first before you consider it’s the right product for you.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      May

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