Paymaster General

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Her Majesty's Paymaster General
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Royal Arms as used by Her Majesty's Government
Official portrait of Mel Stride.jpg
Mel Stride

since 13 June 2017
Office of HM Paymaster General
StyleThe Right Honourable
AppointerElizabeth II
Inaugural holderHenry Parnell
Formation27 April 1836
WebsiteHM 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. 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.


Until 1939 the Office of the Paymaster General was at 36 Whitehall (an extension of Horse Guards formerly occupied by the Paymaster to the Forces).[1]

The post was created in 1836 by the merger of the positions of the offices of the Paymaster of the Forces, (1661–1836), the Treasurer of the Navy, (1546–1835), the Paymaster and Treasurer of Chelsea Hospital and the Treasurer of the Ordnance, (1670–1835). 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), and who served from 1999 to 2007.

In the 21st century, the post has sometimes been held by a junior Cabinet Office Minister.


The Paymaster General was formerly in charge of the Office of HM Paymaster General [2] (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 which is now part of the Equiniti group. However, in 2008, the government announced that the Office of the Paymaster General would be incorporated into a new body, the Government Banking Service,[3] 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,[4] retail banking services for the GBS are provided exclusively by the Royal Bank of Scotland and Citibank,[5] although the Bank of England still plays a role in managing the government's higher level accounts.[6] The post is now therefore usually combined with another role.

List of Paymasters General[edit]


Edwardian and wartime[edit]


21st century[edit]

Name Portrait Term of office Concurrent office(s) Political party Prime Minister
Dawn Primarolo Dawn Primarolo.jpg 4 January 1999 June 2007 Labour Tony Blair
Tessa Jowell Tessa Jowell.jpg 28 June 2007 May 2010 Minister for the Olympics
Minister for the Cabinet Office
(from 5 June 2009)
Minister for London
(until 3 October 2008; from 5 June 2009)
Labour Gordon Brown
Francis Maude Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office.jpg 12 May 2010 May 2015 Minister for the Cabinet Office Conservative David Cameron
Matthew Hancock Official portrait of Matt Hancock crop 2.jpg 11 May 2015 14 July 2016 David Cameron
Ben Gummer Ben Gummer 2016.jpg 14 July 2016 9 June 2017 Theresa May
Mel Stride Official portrait of Mel Stride crop 2.jpg 13 June 2017 Incumbent Financial Secretary to the Treasury Theresa May


  1. ^ Roper, Michael (1998). The Records of the War Office and Related Departments, 1660-1964. Kew, Surrey: Public Record Office.
  2. ^ Gater, G. H.; Wheeler, E. P. "Office of the Paymaster-General British History Online". London County Council, London, 1935, pp.17–27. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  3. ^ Angela Eagle launches the Government Banking Service – HM Treasury Press Release, 22 May 2008
  4. ^ Important changes to banking arrangements for the Insolvency Services Account – Archived October 30, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Introduction to Government Banking Service – HMRC
  6. ^ Government Banking Service – Department of Works and Pensions

External links[edit]