Government Banking

Government Banking provides a shared banking service across central government and wider public sector customers.

The team consists of around 40 staff, providing expert advice and services to over 750 customers across government on a variety of matters relating to monetary transactions. We act as the voice of government into the payment industry, advise customers about payment and banking innovation and make sure that effective controls are in place to safeguard government funds.

Government Banking also work with a range of financial institutions including Barclays, Citibank, NatWest, Worldpay and HSBC to provide value for money banking and payment services across government.

Responsibilities

Government Banking is a shared government function which provides critical banking services across central government and for wider public sector customers.

Government Banking is responsible for:

  • consulting government departments on their banking and payment needs and support them with delivery of payment strategy/transformation ensuring they are using the most cost effective payment methods
  • centralised procurement, management and security assurance of contracts and suppliers to save cost and resource for government
  • monitoring supplier performance against their contractual commitments and ensure that their service levels meet our expectations and those of our customers
  • providing HM Treasury with a selection of accurate and detailed reports that include customers’ payments and receipts intraday together with historic and future dated payment information
  • supporting government departments with their non-standard and foreign currency payments
  • voice of government into the payment industry as it evolves at a rapid pace
  • provide advice to departments on appropriate financial controls and share information on cyber security through newsletters and webinars to minimise risk of fraud to government

How we engage

At a strategic level we engage across government through our Director level Senior Officials’ Group (SOG) and operational Customer Engagement Group (CEG). Both groups are made up of representation from key departments that between them represent 90% of government payments. They meet quarterly to set the agenda on how government responds to and influences changes in the payment industry.

On a day-to-day level, we engage with customers through our Customer Relationship team. We provide operational advice and guidance about banking and payments and ensure they comply with the HM Treasury Managing Public Money guidance. If we become aware of any activities that increases risk for the Exchequer or our exposure to suppliers e.g. payments made after 3pm, or accounts become overdrawn, we will be in contact straight away. We assist our customers to resolve any payment issues that may arise and deliver efficiencies that support their payment strategy.

We deliver events and workshops often bringing in industry experts to keep our customers informed about the latest innovations, and give them the opportunity to connect with suppliers and the payments industry directly.

We influence industry changes by being the main voice of government across the payment industry.

Our payment services

We work in partnership with government departments to understand their banking and payment requirements, and plans to transform their business, providing expert advice to help them deliver cost effective solutions.

Our banking contracts provide the most cost effective money transmission services and enable departments to use the following facilities.

Online banking

A secure and easy way to manage money online: view all accounts and balances, make payments to suppliers, and transfer funds between accounts and across government.

Full range of payment methods:

  • Faster Payments - a same-day payment method for up to £250,000
  • CHAPS (Clearing House Automated Payment System) - a same-day payment method for large values (£250,000 and above)
  • Service User Numbers (SUN) to make payments by Bacs (Bacs is the electronic system used to make payments directly from one bank account to another - the main two types of payment are Direct Debit and Bacs Direct Credit, and the payments can take up to 3 working days to clear)
  • International payments - send and receive money in Euros, Sterling, US Dollars and other currencies
  • Local paying-in and cash withdrawal facilities from nominated branches

Other contracted services

We also contract services to support government departments to:

  • receive payment by card
  • use payable orders, where electronic payments are not possible

Receiving payment by card

Our contract for Merchant Acquiring Services provides a quick and easy way to receive money for fees, licences, penalties or fines. Payments can be made in a variety of ways: debit cards, credit cards, and alternative payment methods like eWallets (PayPal, for example).

Using payable orders

Payable orders can be used when electronic payments are not possible. Payable orders are like cheques. It’s much more cost-effective to make payments electronically but when that’s not possible, departments may issue a payable order. They can be ordered through Government Banking.

News and updates

Read the latest edition of our quarterly newsletter, Payment Matters:

Payment Matters - Government Banking Newsletter - Edition 1 (July 2018)

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If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email helpdesk.gbs@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

We also produce a variety of newsletters and webinars specifically for Government Banking customers. Contact Maria Partington-Moran for more information on how to receive these materials.

Our help desk

For all Government Banking enquiries please contact the Government Banking help desk:

Telephone: 03000 588 880

Email: helpdesk.gbs@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

Useful contacts for non-government banking customers

Payable orders

If you have a query regarding a payable order you have received, you will need to look at the ‘Account’ field on the payable order to see the name of the department that has issued the payable order. You will then need to contact this department directly. Government Banking cannot assist with these queries.

Transactions

If you have an enquiry about a transaction you have received, you will need to go back to your bank and request that they provide you with the full name of the payee. You will then need to contact the payee directly. Government Banking cannot assist with these queries.

HM Paymaster General pensions

Government Banking only took over banking operations of HM Paymaster General and not any historic activity or responsibility on pensions. Please contact Equiniti Paymaster on 01293 560 999.

Civil Service Pensions

If your enquiry is regarding a civil service pension please contact:

  • telephone: 0300 123 6666 (8:30am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday)
  • if you are dialing from overseas: +44 1903 835902 (8:30am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday)
  • email: contactcentre@mycsp.co.uk

NHS or Armed Forces Pensions

If your enquiry is regarding a NHS or Armed Forces pension please contact:

Contact details

helpdesk.gbs@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk