HM Treasury

Her Majesty's Treasury (HM Treasury), sometimes referred to as the Exchequer, or more informally the Treasury, is the British government department responsible for developing and executing the government's public finance policy and economic policy. The Treasury maintains the Online System for Central Accounting and Reporting (OSCAR), the replacement for the Combined Online Information System (COINS), which itemises departmental spending under thousands of category headings,[4] and from which the Whole of Government Accounts (WGA) annual financial statements are produced.

The possessive adjective in the department's name varies depending upon the gender of the reigning monarch.

Her Majesty's Treasury
HM Treasury logo
Department overview
Formed1066 or earlier[1]
JurisdictionUnited Kingdom
Headquarters1 Horse Guards Road
Westminster, London
Employees1169 FTE (+113 in DMO)[2]
Annual budget£3.8 billion (current) & £300 million (capital) for Chancellor's Departments in 2011–12[3]
Ministers responsible
Department executive
Child Department


The beginnings of the Treasury of England have been traced by some to an individual known as Henry the Treasurer, a servant to King William the Conqueror.[5][6][7] This claim is based on an entry in the Domesday Book showing the individual Henry "the treasurer" as a landowner in Winchester, where the royal treasure was stored.[8]

The Treasury of the United Kingdom thus traces its origins to the Treasury of the Kingdom of England, which had come into existence by 1126, in the reign of Henry I. The Treasury emerged from the Royal Household. It was where the king kept his treasures. The head of the Treasury was called the Lord Treasurer.

Starting in Tudor times, the Lord Treasurer became one of the chief officers of state, and competed with the Lord Chancellor for the principal place. In 1667, Charles II of England was responsible for appointing George Downing, the builder of Downing Street, to radically reform the Treasury and the collection of taxes.

The Treasury was first put in commission (placed under the control of several people instead of only one) in May or June 1660.[9] The first commissioners were the Duke of Albermarle, Lord Ashley, (Sir) W. Coventry, (Sir) J. Duncomb, and (Sir) T. Clifford.[10][11] After 1714, the Treasury was always in commission. The commissioners were referred to as the Lords of the Treasury and were given a number based on their seniority. Eventually the First Lord of the Treasury came to be seen as the natural head of government, and from Robert Walpole on, the holder of the office began to be known, unofficially, as the Prime Minister. Until 1827, the First Lord of the Treasury, when a commoner, also held the office of Chancellor of the Exchequer, while if the First Lord was a peer, the Second Lord usually served as Chancellor. Since 1827, however, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has always been Second Lord of the Treasury.

During the time when the Treasury was under commission, the junior Lords were each paid £1600 a year.[12]


As of January 2018, the Treasury Ministers are as follows:

Minister Title Portfolio
The Rt Hon. Theresa May MP First Lord of the Treasury Prime Minister, formal head of the Treasury
The Rt Hon. Philip Hammond MP Chancellor of the Exchequer
Second Lord of the Treasury
Overall responsibility for the department
The Rt Hon. Liz Truss MP Chief Secretary to the Treasury Spending reviews and strategic planning, in-year spending control, public sector pay and pensions, Annually Managed Expenditure (AME) and welfare reform, efficiency and value for money in public service, capital investment
The Rt Hon. Mel Stride MP Paymaster General
Financial Secretary to the Treasury
Strategic oversight of direct, indirect, business, property UK tax system, corporate and small business taxation, financial services taxation, European and international tax issues, customs policy, overall responsibility of Finance Bill.
Robert Jenrick MP Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury UK growth and productivity, indirect taxes, charities, the voluntary sector, Crown Estate and Royal Household, Royal Mint
John Glen MP Economic Secretary to the Treasury Banking and financial reform and regulation, EU exit financial services, City competitiveness, retail financial services, bank lending, personal savings tax, insurance, asset management, sponsorship of UKGI, asset freezing and financial crime, financial inclusion, equitable life, foreign exchange reserves


Some of the government whips are also associated in name with the Treasury: the Chief Whip is nominally Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and traditionally had an office in 12 Downing Street. Some of the other whips are nominally Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury, though they are all members of the House of Commons. Whip is a party, rather than a government, position; the appointments to the Treasury are sinecure positions which allow the whips to be paid ministerial salaries. This has led to the Government front bench in the Commons being known as the Treasury Bench. However, since the whips no longer have any effective ministerial roles in the Treasury, they are usually not listed as Treasury ministers.

Lord Young of Cookham, who serves currently as a government whip in the House of Lords, has been named as Treasury spokesman.[13][14]

Permanent secretaries

The position of Permanent Secretary of HM Treasury is generally regarded as the second most influential in the British Civil Service; two recent incumbents have gone on to be Cabinet Secretary, the only post outranking it.

As of July 2016 the Second Permanent Secretary is Charles Roxburgh.[15] Between 2007 and 2010, the post of Head of the Government Economic Service (GES) was held jointly by the Managing Director of Macroeconomic and Fiscal Policy in HM Treasury, Dave Ramsden, and Vicky Pryce, Chief Economist in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Ramsden is now sole Head of the GES. The previous Head of the GES was Sir Nick Stern. Management support for GES members is provided by the Economists in Government team, which is located in HM Treasury's building.

Banknote issue

Banknotes in the UK are normally issued by the Bank of England and a number of commercial banks (see Banknotes of the pound sterling). At the start of the First World War, the Currency and Bank Notes Act 1914 was passed, giving the Treasury temporary powers to issue banknotes in two denominations, one at £1 and another at 10 shillings, in the UK. Treasury notes had full legal tender status and were not convertible for gold through the Bank of England. They replaced the gold coin in circulation to prevent a run on sterling and to enable purchases of raw materials for armaments production. These notes featured an image of King George V (Bank of England notes did not begin to display an image of the monarch until 1960). The wording on each note was UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND — Currency notes are Legal Tender for the payment of any amount — Issued by the Lords Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury under the Authority of Act of Parliament (4 & 5 Geo. V c.14). Notes issued after the partition of Ireland from 1922 had the wording changed to read "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".

The promise (never adhered to) was that they would be removed from circulation after the war had ended. In fact, the notes were issued until 1928, when the Currency and Bank Notes Act 1928 returned note-issuing powers to the banks.[16]

Associated public bodies

Executive agencies of HM Treasury

  • UK Debt Management Office, reporting to the Financial Services Secretary, is responsible for government borrowing operations.

Other bodies reporting to Treasury ministers

History of the Treasury Main Building

The Treasury Main Building at 1 Horse Guards Road, often referred to as the Government Offices, Great George Street (GOGGS), was designed by John Brydon following a competition.[17] Construction took place in two phases. The West end was completed in 1908 and the East end was completed in 1917.[17] It was originally built as offices for Board of Education, the Local Government Board, and the Ministry of Works Office; HM Treasury moved into the building in 1940.[17] A major refurbishment of the building was procured under a Private Finance Initiative contract in 2000. The works, which were designed by Foster and Partners together with Feilden and Mawson and carried out by Bovis Lend Lease at a cost of £140 million, were completed in 2002.[18]


The Treasury publishes cross-government guidance including The Green Book: appraisal and evaluation in central government.

See also


  1. ^ "History of 11 Downing Street - GOV.UK". Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  2. ^ "HMT workforce management information: February 2015". GOV.UK. 27 March 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  3. ^ Budget 2011 (PDF). London: HM Treasury. 2011. p. 48. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 August 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  4. ^ Rosenbaum, Martin. "BBC - Open Secrets: How big is the Coins database?". Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  5. ^ C. Warren Hollister - The Origins of the English Treasury The English Historical Review Vol. 93, No. 367 (Apr., 1978) Retrieved 2012-06-25
  6. ^ Open Domesday Retrieved 2012-06-25
  7. ^ HM Treasury:History
  8. ^ D C Douglas - William the Conqueror: The Norman Impact Upon England University of California Press, 1 May 1967 ISBN 0520003500 Retrieved 2012-06-25
  9. ^ W Lowndes and D M Gill - The Treasury, 1660-1714 Vol. 46, No. 184 (Oct., 1931) Retrieved 2012-06-25
  10. ^ Samuel Pepys (R Latham) - The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Esq., F.R.S. From 1659 to 1669 with Memoir, Echo Library, 30 May 2006 ISBN 1847028926 sourced - "Downing, George (1623?-1684)" . Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. p. 400.
  11. ^ Secondary - [1] from Cambridge Dictionaries
  12. ^ (Baron) T B Macaulay - History of England, Volume 1 CUP Archive, 18 Jan 2012 Retrieved 2012-06-25
  13. ^ "Resignation of Lord O'Neill and PM response". 10 Downing Street. 23 September 2016.
  14. ^ "Ministers". Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  15. ^ "New Second Permanent Secretary to the Treasury appointed". GOV.UK. 4 July 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
  16. ^ Trevor R Howard. "Treasury notes". Retrieved 12 October 2007.
  17. ^ a b c HM Treasury: About GOGGS
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 May 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External links

Coordinates: 51°30′06.1″N 0°07′40.3″W / 51.501694°N 0.127861°W

Chief Secretary to the Treasury

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury is the third most senior ministerial position in HM Treasury, after the First Lord of the Treasury and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. It was created in 1961, to share the burden of representing the Treasury with the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Between 1961 and 2015 the holder of the post of Chief Secretary to the Treasury was automatically a member of the Cabinet making the Treasury the only Department to have two ministers automatically serving in the Cabinet. Since 2015, however, the status of the Chief Secretary to the Treasury has been reduced to an "also attending Cabinet" role.

The position's responsibilities include negotiating with departments about budget allocations, public sector pay, and procurement policy.

City Minister

The position of City Minister is a United Kingdom Government minister in HM Treasury. The minister is responsible for the British financial services sector which is commonly known as 'the City'. The incumbent minister is John Glen who was appointed in January 2018.

The term 'City Minister' was first used as a nickname for the position of Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury which was created by Gordon Brown upon coming to office in October 2008. The only person to have held the office was Lord Myners, who served from October 2008 to May 2010.In May 2010 as part of the ministerial reorganisation by the Cameron Government the position of Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury was abolished. However, the idea of there being a minister specifically responsible for the City was retained and it was decided that the post would be held concurrently with the position of Financial Secretary to the Treasury, held at the time by Simon Kirby.

Following the promotion of Sajid Javid to Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport in April 2014 the portfolio of City Minister was moved from the Financial Secretary to the Treasury to the Economic Secretary to the Treasury.Following the 2017 snap general election Kirby lost his seat. No successor was explicitly appointed to the position of 'City Minister'. Kirby was succeeded by Stephen Barclay in the role of Economic Secretary.

Commercial Secretary to the Treasury

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury is a United Kingdom Government ministerial post in HM Treasury which ranks at Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State level. On the resignation of Lord O'Neill of Gatley in September 2016, the office ceased to be in use for three months, but Lord Young of Cookham was named to serve as Treasury spokesman in the House of Lords. The Baroness Neville-Rolfe was appointed as Commercial Secretary on 21 December 2016; her appointment ended in June 2017.

Debt Management Office

The UK Debt Management Office (DMO) is the executive agency responsible for carrying out UK Government's debt management.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury is the sixth-most senior ministerial post in the UK Treasury, after the First Lord of the Treasury, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, the Paymaster-General and the Financial Secretary to the Treasury. It is not a cabinet-level post.

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury

The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury is a junior ministerial post in the British Treasury, ranked below the First Lord of the Treasury, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, the Paymaster General and the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, and alongside the Economic Secretary to the Treasury. It ranks at Parliamentary Secretary level and is not a Cabinet office. Unlike the other posts of Secretary to the Treasury, it is only used occasionally, normally when the post of Paymaster General is allocated to a Minister outside the Treasury.

The office was reinstated in June 2007, when Angela Eagle was appointed Exchequer Secretary after Tessa Jowell had been appointed Paymaster General and Olympic Minister within the Cabinet Office. The previous Exchequer Secretary was Phillip Oppenheim, who held the post from 23 July 1996 to 2 May 1997, when he lost his seat in the general election that brought Tony Blair to power. Angela Eagle was replaced by Kitty Ussher in the June 2009 reshuffle, with Jowell continuing in the Paymaster General role. Ussher resigned on 17 June 2009 and was immediately replaced by Sarah McCarthy-Fry. Following the 2010 general election, the post was taken by Conservative MP David Gauke. In May 2015, Conservative MP Damian Hinds assumed the office. From 15 June 2017 to January 2018, Andrew Jones served as the Exchequer Secretary to HM Treasury. On 9 January 2018, Robert Jenrick was appointed to the post.

Financial Conduct Authority

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is a financial regulatory body in the United Kingdom, but operates independently of the UK Government, and is financed by charging fees to members of the financial services industry. The FCA regulates financial firms providing services to consumers and maintains the integrity of the financial markets in the United Kingdom.It focuses on the regulation of conduct by both retail and wholesale financial services firms. Like its predecessor the FSA, the FCA is structured as a company limited by guarantee.

The structure of the FCA's regulatory authority takes in the Bank of England's Prudential Regulatory Authority (another FSA successor), and the Financial Policy Committee. The FCA is responsible for the conduct of around 58,000 businesses which employ 2.2 million people and contribute around £65.6 billion in annual tax revenue to the UK economy.

First Lord of the Treasury

The First Lord of the Treasury is the head of the commission exercising the ancient office of Lord High Treasurer in the United Kingdom, and is by convention also the Prime Minister. This office is not equivalent to the usual position of the "Treasurer" in other governments; the closer equivalent of a Treasurer in the United Kingdom is Chancellor of the Exchequer, who is the Second Lord of the Treasury.

Lords Commissioners of the Treasury

In the United Kingdom there are at least six Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury, serving as a commission for the ancient office of Lord High Treasurer. The board consists of the First Lord of the Treasury, the Second Lord of the Treasury, and four or more junior lords to whom this title is usually applied.

Strictly they are commissioners for exercising the office of Lord High Treasurer (similar to the status of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty exercising the office of Lord High Admiral until 1964, when the Queen resumed the office). This office has continually been in commission since the resignation in 1714 of Charles, Duke of Shrewsbury, who was appointed to the office by Queen Anne on her deathbed.Until the 19th century, this commission made most of the economic decisions of Great Britain (England, before the Act of Union 1707). However, starting during the 19th century, these positions became sinecure positions, with the First Lord serving almost invariably as Prime Minister, the Second Lord invariably as Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the junior lords serving as whips in Parliament.

As an office in commission, technically all Lords Commissioners of the Treasury are of equal rank, with their ordinal numbers connoting seniority rather than authority over their fellow Lords Commissioners. However from at least the reign of Queen Anne de facto power has rested with the top-numbered Lords.

Currently, there are eight Lords Commissioners of the Treasury:

Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury – The Rt Hon. Theresa May MP (appointed 13 July 2016)

Chancellor of the Exchequer and Second Lord of the Treasury – The Rt Hon. Philip Hammond MP (appointed 13 July 2016)

Junior Lords:

David Rutley MP (appointed 15 June 2017)

Rebecca Harris MP (appointed 9 January 2018)

Paul Maynard MP (appointed 9 January 2018)

Craig Whittaker MP (appointed 9 January 2018)

Mike Freer MP (appointed 26 July 2018)

Jeremy Quin MP (appointed 5 November 2018)

National Savings and Investments

National Savings and Investments (NS&I), formerly called the Post Office Savings Bank and National Savings, is a state-owned savings bank in the United Kingdom. It is both a non-ministerial government department and an executive agency of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Historically, the aim of NS&I has been to attract funds from individual savers in the UK for the purpose of funding the government’s public sector borrowing requirement (i.e., the funds in excess of taxation that the government requires to fund its expenditure). NS&I attracts savers through offering savings products with tax-free elements on some products, and a 100% guarantee from HM Treasury on all deposits.

Navy Pay Office (Royal Navy)

The Navy Pay Office also known as the Navy Treasury was established in 1546. The office was administered by the Treasurer of the Navy, and was semi-autonomous of the Navy Office. It existed until 1835 when all offices and accounting departments of the Royal Navy were unified into the Department of the Accountant-General of the Navy. The Navy Pay Office received money directly from HM Treasury.

Office for Budget Responsibility

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) is a non-departmental public body that the UK government established to provide independent economic forecasts and independent analysis of the public finances. It was formally created in May 2010 following the general election (although it had previously been constituted in shadow form by the Conservative party opposition in December 2009) and was placed on a statutory footing by the Budget Responsibility and National Audit Act 2011. It is one of a growing number of official independent fiscal watchdogs around the world.Robert Chote, formerly a director at the Institute for Fiscal Studies is the current head.

Paymaster General

Her Majesty's Paymaster General or HM Paymaster General is a ministerial position in the United Kingdom. When the post is held by a minister in HM Treasury it is typically given to the fourth highest-ranking minister, after the First Lord of the Treasury, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury. The incumbent Paymaster General is Mel Stride, whose main title is Financial Secretary to the Treasury.

Permanent Secretary to the Treasury

The UK Permanent Secretary to the Treasury is the most senior civil servant at HM Treasury. The post originated as that of Assistant Secretary to the Treasury in 1805; that office was given new duties and renamed in 1867 as a Permanent Secretaryship.

The position is generally regarded as the second most influential in Her Majesty's Civil Service; Andrew Turnbull (Permanent Secretary from 1998 to 2002) and Gus O'Donnell (2002–2005) were Permanent Secretaries to the Treasury who then became Cabinet Secretary, the most influential post.

Previous incumbents have not always maintained the political neutrality expected of civil servants; in 1909 Sir George Murray was involved in lobbying various Crossbench peers in the House of Lords to reject the Chancellor of the Exchequer's proposed budget.

Prudential Regulation Authority (United Kingdom)

The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) is a United Kingdom financial services regulatory body, formed as one of the successors to the Financial Services Authority (FSA). The authority is structured as a limited company wholly owned by the Bank of England and is responsible for the prudential regulation and supervision of banks, building societies, credit unions, insurers and major investment firms. It sets standards and supervises financial institutions at the level of the individual firm.The PRA was created by the Financial Services Act 2012 and formally began operating alongside the new Financial Conduct Authority on 1 April 2013. As the Bank of England is operationally independent of the Government of the United Kingdom, the PRA is a quasi-governmental regulator, rather than an arm of the government per se. The PRA has its main offices at 20 Moorgate, near the Bank's central offices on Threadneedle Street.

Tom Scholar

Sir Thomas Whinfield Scholar KCB (born 17 December 1968) is a British civil servant currently serving as Permanent Secretary at HM Treasury. Scholar was previously the Prime Minister's Adviser on European and Global Issues in the Cabinet Office.

Treasury Select Committee

The House of Commons Treasury Committee (often referred to as the 'Treasury Select Committee') is a select committee of the House of Commons in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The remit of the committee is to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of HM Treasury, with all of its agencies and associated bodies, including HM Revenue and Customs, the Bank of England, the Prudential Regulation Authority, the Financial Conduct Authority, the Royal Mint, and so on.

Since 2010 the Treasury committee has taken on new powers, including the right to veto appointments to the independent Office for Budget Responsibility, and has forced the Financial Services Authority to publish a detailed report into its handling of the collapse of Royal Bank of Scotland.

UK Financial Investments

UK Financial Investments (UKFI) was a limited company set up in November 2008 and mandated by the UK Government to manage HM Treasury's shareholdings in the Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) and in UK Asset Resolution which the residual assets of NRAM plc and Bradford & Bingley. UKFI formerly managed the Government's shares in Lloyds Banking Group, until the British Government confirmed all their shares had been sold on 17 May 2017. It also previously owned Northern Rock until that company was taken over by Virgin Money on 1 January 2012. UKFI ceased trading on 31 March 2018 and its business and assets were transferred to UK Government Investments, a limited company wholly owned by HM Treasury.

UK Government Investments

UK Government Investments is a company owned by the Government of the United Kingdom which combines the former functions of the Shareholder Executive and UK Financial Investments.

UKGI manages a portfolio of 27 businesses including majority-owned banks, Channel 4 and Ordnance Survey.Robert Swannell is the chairman and Mark Russell is the chief executive.

Her Majesty's Treasury
Executive agencies
Budget day
Cabinet ministers
Junior ministers
and labour
Trade and

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