Paymaster General

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Her Majesty's Paymaster General
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
Matthew Hancock MP.jpg
Matthew Hancock

since 11 May 2015
Office of HM Paymaster General
Style The Right Honourable
Appointer Elizabeth II
Inaugural holder Henry Parnell
Formation 27 April 1836
Website HM Paymaster General [archived version]
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Her Majesty's Paymaster General or HM Paymaster General is a ministerial position in the United Kingdom. The Paymaster General was 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 were 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-serving holder of the post was Dawn Primarolo, whose portfolio covered HM Revenue and Customs (formerly the Inland Revenue and HM Customs and Excise). The incumbent Paymaster General is Matthew Hancock, who is also the Minister for the Cabinet Office.

List of Paymasters General


Edwardian and wartime


21st century

Name Portrait Concurrent office(s) Tenure Political party Prime Minister
Dawn Primarolo Dawn Primarolo.jpg 4 January 1999 – June 2007 Labour Tony Blair
Tessa Jowell 75px Minister for the Olympics
Cabinet Office Minister (from 5 June 2009)
Minister for London (until October 2008; from 5 June 2009)
28 June 2007 – May 2010 Gordon Brown
Francis Maude Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office.jpg Cabinet Office Minister 12 May 2010 – May 2015 Conservative David Cameron
Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock.jpg 11 May 2015 – present David Cameron


External links