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HM Treasury

Her Majesty's Treasury
Welsh: Trysorlys Ei Mawrhydi
Government Offices, Great George Street
Department overview
Formed 1066 or earlier[1]
Jurisdiction United Kingdom
Headquarters 1 Horse Guards Road
Westminster, London
Employees 1169 FTE (+113 in DMO)[2]
Annual budget £3.8 billion (current) & £300 million (capital) for Chancellor's Departments in 2011-12[3]
Minister responsible
  • Chancellor of the Exchequer
Department executive
Child Department
Website /
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the United Kingdom
United Kingdom portal

Her Majesty's Treasury (HM Treasury), sometimes referred to as the Exchequer, or more informally the Treasury, is the United Kingdom government department responsible for developing and executing the British government's public finance policy and economic policy. The Treasury maintains OSCAR, the replacement for COINS (Combined Online Information System), which contains a detailed analysis of departmental spending under thousands of category headings.[4] and from which the Whole of Government Accounts are now produced.


  • History 1
  • Ministers 2
  • Whips 3
  • Permanent Secretaries 4
  • Banknote issue 5
  • Associated public bodies 6
    • Executive agencies of HM Treasury 6.1
    • Other bodies reporting to Treasury Ministers 6.2
  • History of the Treasury Main Building 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10
    • Video clips 10.1


View from the Treasury towards Parliament.

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, the place where the royal treasure was stored.[8]

The Treasury of the United Kingdom thus traces its origins to the Treasury of the 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 sixteen hundred pounds a year.[12]

The first word in the department's name is changed depending upon who is the reigning monarch. If the monarch is male, the department is His Majesty's Treasury. If the monarch is female, as is currently the case under Queen Elizabeth II, the department is Her Majesty's Treasury.


The Treasury Ministers are as follows:[13]

Minister Rank Portfolio
The Rt Hon. George Osborne MP Chancellor of the Exchequer
Second Lord of the Treasury
Overall responsibility
Greg Hands 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
David Gauke MP Financial Secretary to the Treasury Deputising for the Chancellor at Ecofin, EU Budget, strategic oversight of the UK tax system, corporate and small business taxation, European and international tax issues, HM Revenue and Customs, Valuation Office Agency, Finance Bill, pensions policy, The Government Actuaty's Department
Damian Hinds MP Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Childcare policy, women and the economy, tax credits and child poverty, assisting the Chief Secretary on welfare reform, charities, voluntary sector, gift aid, environment and transport taxation, North Sea oil gas and shipping, energy policy and climate change, excise duties, gambling duties
Harriett Baldwin MP Economic Secretary to the Treasury Banking and financial services reform and regulation (including the PRA), financial stability, city competitiveness, bank lending and access to finance, Help to Buy, financial conduct and the FCA, asset management, RBS, Lloyds, UKFI, retail financial services, consumer finance, financial advise and capability, equitable life, foreign exhange reserves and debt management policy, National Savings and Investments, Debt Management Office
The Lord O'Neill of Gatley Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (unpaid) Delivery of infrastructure projects across the public sector and facilitating private sector investment into UK infrastructure, supporting the Chief Secretary on capital investment, corporate finance, public corporations, public private partnerships, PF2, existing PFI contracts, sales of government assets, better regulation and competition policy, asset freezing and financial crime, supporting the Chancellor and Financial Secretary on wider growth policy, Supporting the Secretary of State for Culture on the Olympics legacy, woriking with DCMS Ministers, questions and debates on these policy areas in the House of Lords, Crown Estatte and Royal Household, Royal Mint


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.

Permanent Secretaries

The Treasury building viewed from St. James' Park

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

As of May 2015, the Second Permanent Secretary is John Kingman.[14] 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

  • HM Treasury YouTube channel

Video clips

  • HM Treasury

External links

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Budget 2011 (PDF). London: HM Treasury. 2011. p. 48. Retrieved 30 December 2011. 
  4. ^
  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. ^  
  11. ^ Secondary - [2] from Cambridge Dictionaries
  12. ^ (Baron) T B Macaulay - History of England, Volume 1 CUP Archive, 18 Jan 2012 Retrieved 2012-06-25
  13. ^ "Our ministers". GOV.UK. HM Treasury. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  14. ^ "John Kingman". GOV.UK. Retrieved 19 May 2015. 
  15. ^ Trevor R Howard. "Treasury notes". Retrieved 12 October 2007. 
  16. ^ a b c HM Treasury: About GOGGS
  17. ^ HM Treasury case study


See also

The Treasury Main Building at 1 John Brydon following a competition.[16] Construction took place in two phases. The West end was completed in 1908 and the East end was completed in 1917.[16] It was originally built as offices for Board of Education, the Local Government Board, and the Ministry of Works Office; HM Treasury did not move into the building until 1940.[16] A major refurbishment of the building was completed under a PFI contract by Bovis Lend Lease in 2004.[17]

The new eastern entrance to HM Treasury

History of the Treasury Main Building

Other bodies reporting to Treasury Ministers

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

Executive agencies of HM Treasury

Associated public bodies

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.[15]

Local Government
Scottish Government
UK Government
UK Government Departments
Taxation in the United Kingdom

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