Paymaster General


Paymaster General
Her Majesty's Paymaster General
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
Arms of Her Majesty's Government
Office of HM Paymaster General
Incumbent
Francis Maude

since 12 May 2010
Style The Right Honourable
Appointer David Cameron
Inaugural holder Henry Parnell
Formation 27 April 1836
Website HM Paymaster General [archived version]
United Kingdom
Coat of Arms of the UK Government

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HM Paymaster General is a ministerial position in the United Kingdom. The Paymaster General is in charge of the Office of HM Paymaster General (OPG), which held accounts at the Bank of England on behalf of Government departments and selected other public bodies. Funds which are made available from the Consolidated Fund were then channelled into OPG accounts, from where they were used by the relevant body. OPG operated a full range of accounts and banking transaction services, including cheque and credit, BACS and CHAPS services for its customers via an electronic banking system. Integration of OPG accounts held with commercial banks was provided by the private company Xafinity Paymaster.

In 2008, the government announced that the Office of the Paymaster General would be incorporated into a new body, the Government Banking Service,[1] which also provides banking operations for HM Revenue & Customs and National Savings and Investments. Following the Bank of England's decision to withdraw from providing retail banking services[2], retail banking services for the GBS are provided exclusively by the Royal Bank of Scotland and Citibank[3], although the Bank of England still plays a role in managing the government's higher level accounts.[4]

When the post is held by a minister in HM Treasury it ranks third in the Treasury, after the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury. The post was created in 1836 by the merger of the positions of Paymaster of the Forces, Treasurer of the Navy, Paymaster and Treasurer of Chelsea Hospital and Treasurer of the Ordnance. From 1848 to 1868, the post was held concurrently with that of Vice-President of the Board of Trade.

The longest holder of the post was Dawn Primarolo, whose portfolio consisted of the workings of HM Revenue and Customs, formerly Inland Revenue and HM Customs and Excise, bureaucratically separate from the Treasury. The former Labour Paymaster General was Tessa Jowell, who was also previously responsible for the 2012 Olympics. The incumbent Paymaster General is Francis Maude, who is also the Minister for the Cabinet Office.

List of Paymasters General

References

  1. ^ Angela Eagle launches the Government Banking Service - HM Treasury Press Release, 22 May 2008
  2. ^ Important changes to banking arrangements for the Insolvency Services Account - insolvency.gov.uk
  3. ^ Introduction to Government Banking Service - HMRC
  4. ^ Government Banking Service - Department of Works and Pensions

External links


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