London preview

United Kingdom

London is one of the largest financial center in the world. As New York has "Wall Street", London has "The City". Two decades ago, "The City" relocated to "Canary Wharf" where you will find most of the corporate and financial banks. For individuals, several large and small banks operate in London. As a result, there is huge competition amongst banks to gain customers. Banks are open Mon - Fri, while some branches (but not many!) are open Saturdays. Banking hours are generally 9am - 4pm or 5pm. Chequing accounts and savings accounts are standard, as are investment options and guaranteed investments.

ATMs, known as 'cash points' are everywhere in London (many tube stations have cash points) and those run by major banks do not charge a withdrawal fee. Beware of small cash points in mini-markets, as they likely charge a high service fee.

Just about all UK banks offer online banking and this is the most efficient way of dealing with your day-to-day banking needs, especially if you want to avoid queues and bureaucrats. User discretion is advised when it comes to online banking, as no one knows just what scam will surface. That said, online banking is generally safe and used by millions worldwide. Each bank will have a specific online banking set-up procedure; the most strict being NatWest which issues a card reader tha…