The 18 most profitable banks in the UK

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A man uses an ATM outside a branch of Lloyds Bank in London.
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REUTERS/Andrew Winning/Files

In the years since the financial crisis, Britain’s banks have slimmed down massively, shedding staff and spending much less money as greater scrutiny from both the public and regulators puts their actions firmly in the spotlight.

After years of struggles, the country’s banks are now largely profitable once again, with new challengers, traditional major players and building societies all delivering strong profits last year.

Using data provided by The Banker, a magazine covering the financial sector, Business Insider has compiled a list of the lenders in the UK which made the most money last year.

Understandably, the UK’s biggest banks like Barclays, HSBC and Lloyds top the ranking, simply by virtue of having far, far greater assets than the majority of lenders. One of Britain’s best-known lenders, RBS, misses out having made a loss of close to £7 billion last year as it continues to recover from the crisis.

Business Insider has included those banks that are either headquartered in the UK, or do the majority of their business in the UK, and which made a pre-tax profit of more than £100 million ($129.5 million).

Check them out below.


18. Tesco Bank — £105 million: The banking arm of supermarket giant Tesco, Tesco Bank celebrated its 20th anniversary this week. It was initially launched as a joint venture with RBS in the 1990s, but became 100% owned by Tesco in 2008.

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Tesco.
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Nick Ansell/PA Wire/PA Images

17. Leeds Building Society — £111 million: Serving close to 720,000 customers across the UK, Leeds Building Society is the fifth largest building society in the country.

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Wikipedia

16. Aldermore Bank — £122 million: A so-called challenger bank, Aldermore was founded by CEO Phillip Monks in 2009, and listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2015. It specialises in lending for buy-to-let mortgages.

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Phillip Monks
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Aldermore

15. Investec UK — £138 million: Investec provides a whole range of services including asset management alongside its banking business. The firm was first founded in South Africa in the 1970s, but has a dual listing in London and Johannesburg.

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Reuters Staff

14. Yorkshire Building Society — £144 million: Based in the same county as the Leeds Building Society, but not affiliated to it, Yorkshire is the UK’s second largest building society. It had total assets of just less than £40 billion at the last reading.

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Reuters/Andrew Winning

13. OneSavings Bank — £155 million: Originally founded as Kent Reliance Building Society in 1847, OneSavings took its current name in 2011, before listing on the London Stock Exchange in 2014. It offers residential, buy to let and commercial mortgages.

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OneSavings Bank CEO Andy Golding
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OneSavings Bank

12. Skipton Building Society — £161 million: Another Yorkshire-based building society to make the list, Skipton had total assets of £19 billion in 2016, £15.5 billion of which was in mortgages.

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Skipton Building Society

11. TSB — £173 million: Spun off from Lloyds in 2013, TSB is owned by Spanish banking group Sabadel. It had overall revenues of just over £1 billion in 2016.

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Chief Executive of the TSB bank Paul Pester.
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REUTERS/Andrew Winning

10. Virgin Money — £185 million: Founded in 2000 by legendary entrepreneur Richard Branson, Virgin Money purchased the remaining non-toxic assets of the collapsed Northern Rock in 2012, vastly increasing its customer base.

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Virgin Money CEO Jayne-Anne Gadhia poses during a media conference in 2012.
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Reuters

9. Coventry Building Society — £227 million: The third largest building society in the UK, around 1.4 million people have some form of savings with Coventry.

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Claudio Divizia/Shuttesrtock

8. Close Brothers — £239 million: Lending to small businesses and individuals, Close Brothers had revenues of £687 million in 2016. It is listed on the FTSE 250.

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Close Brothers

7. Standard Chartered — £315 million: Headquartered in the UK, but conducting the majority of its business in emerging markets, particularly Asia, Standard Chartered is part of the FTSE 100.

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A man walks down the painted stairs, depicting the long-time world-wide services, outside the main branch of the Standard Chartered Bank in Hong Kong onn October 21, 2002.
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BANKG REUTERS/Bobby Yip BY/CP/AH

6. Schroders — £590 million: Specialising in asset management, Schroders is one of the oldest finance houses in the UK, founded in 1804. The firm employs over 4,000 staff and had revenues of £2.1 billion in 2016.

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Reuters/Toby Melville

5. Nationwide Building Society — £1.43 billion: Britain’s largest building society controls around £210 billion of the £330 billion worth of assets of the entire building society sector in the UK.

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Reuters/Toby Melville

4. Santander UK — £1.82 billion: A subsidiary of Spanish giant Santander Group, Santander UK was formed in 2010 when Abbey National and Bradford & Bingley merged, taking on the Santander name. The bank has roughly 14 million customers.

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Could more bankers be getting on their bikes?
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Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

3. Barclays — £3.93 billion: The oldest of Britain’s major high street banks, Barclays reported a full-year profit in 2016 that was almost three times higher than in 2015.

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Barclays.
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REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

2. Lloyds — £4.04 billion: Lloyds exited government ownership earlier in 2017, having spent the years since the financial crisis under partial state control. It remains hugely profitable despite not having an investment banking arm.

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A man uses an ATM outside a branch of Lloyds Bank in London.
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REUTERS/Andrew Winning/Files

1. HSBC — £5.49 billion: A global giant, HSBC is Europe’s biggest bank by assets, and that shows up in its gargantuan profits, which are unrivaled in the UK.

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HSBC’s Canary Wharf office, its global headquarters.
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REUTERS/Russell Boyce/File Photo