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STM Events : Visit UK : Practical Information : Money and currency : Banks & ATMs

Money and currency

Banks, ATMs and credit cards

Bank opening hours

Banks in the United Kindgom are generally open from 09:30 to 16:30 Monday to Friday. Please note that each branch can have different opening hours. All banks are closed on public holidays and some banks in Scotland close for an hour at lunchtime.

Many bank branches have 24-hour banking lobbies where a range of services can be accessed via machines. Visitors from overseas should check with their own bank whether they will be able to gain access to these facilities.

Obtaining money when banks are closed

Some banks are open on Saturdays and a few are open for a few hours on Sundays. If you need British currency when the banks are closed, you can obtain it at larger high-street travel agents, in exchange offices in large department stores, at counter desks in larger hotels or at one of the many independent Bureau de Change.

Regulations require all Bureau de Change to clearly display all exchange rates and full details of any fees and rates of commission.

ATMs (cash machines)

Automated Teller Machines (ATM), or cash machines, can be found at most banks branches, high streets and shopping centres. You can use international credit cards, debit cards and bank cards at ATMs providing they have a four-digit PIN.

As a general rule, any cash machine that displays the Visa badge can be used by Plus cardholders and those displaying the MasterCard badge can be used by Cirrus/Maestro cardholders.

Credit cards

All credit cards that bear the Visa, MasterCard or American Express logo are widely accepted in Britain. If your card does not bear one of these logos, you should ask the retailer in advance if you can use it, or check if your card's logo is displayed at the payment area.

You should be aware that retailers can charge more for goods and services bought by credit card (i.e. merchant fee), but they must display a clear indication if any price increase applies.

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