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Glasgow Currency & Banking

Pound Sterling (GBP)
The pound (symbol: £; ISO code: GBP), divided into 100 pence, is the official currency of the United Kingdom and the Crown Dependencies. The slang term “quid” is very common in the UK. The official full name pound sterling (plural: pounds sterling) is used mainly in formal contexts and also when it is necessary to distinguish the currency used within the United Kingdom from others that have the same name. The currency name – but not the names of its units – is sometimes abbreviated to just “sterling,” particularly in the wholesale financial markets; so “payment accepted in sterling,” but never “that costs five sterling”. The abbreviations “ster.” or “stg.” are sometimes used. The term British pound, used particularly by the U.S. media, is not an official name of the currency.

Since decimalization in 1971, the pound has been divided into 100 pence (singular “penny”). The symbol for the penny is “p”; hence an amount such as 50p (£0.50) is usually pronounced “fifty pee” rather than “fifty pence”. (This also helped to distinguish between new and old pence amounts during the changeover to the decimal system).

Laws of legal tender are uniquely complex in the UK. In England and Wales, banknotes issued by the Bank of England are legal tender, meaning that they should be accepted in payment of a debt. In Scotland and Northern Ireland, no banknotes are legal tender, and each bank which issues banknotes does so in the form of its own promissory notes. In the Channel Islands and Isle of Man the local variations on the banknotes are legal tender in their respective jurisdiction. Scottish, Northern Irish, Channel Islands and Manx notes are sometimes rejected by shops when used in England. Scottish bank notes are issued by Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale Bank.

Frequently used: 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1, £2
Rarely used: £5

Frequently used: £5, £10, £20
Rarely used: £1 (Channel Islands, Scot. only), £50, £100 (Scot., N. Ire. only)

If you’re earning money in Scotland, you’ll almost certainly want to open a local bank account rather than having funds transferred to an account overseas. The best type of account for your everyday needs is likely to be a current account. This allows you to pay bills by check or debit card (known as a Switch or Visa Delta Card), directly from your account. You may want to shop around, as interest rates vary even on current accounts. When you go to open your account, you’ll be asked for proof of identity and address, so remember to take the appropriate documents along with you. Banks vary in their acceptance of identification, but typical documents may include a current passport, a current driver’s license, a pension book or benefit book, or a council tax bill.

Some of the main Scottish banks:  
Royal Bank Of Scotland
Bank of Scotland
Clydesdale Bank
Lloyds TSB


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