The BBC has just written an interesting piece about the state of the UK's Faster Payments Service (FPS). FPS is meant to allow transfers of up to £10,000 to take place within 2 hours for telephone, internet and regular payments via standing order. In fact, most banks will not let you get even near those levels with many restricting the amount that can be paid via FPS:
Bank FPS Payment Limit
Northern Bank: £10,000
Alliance & Leicester: £250
Source: UK Payments Council
Beyond those banks, participation is even more patchy with Egg
and Abbey only allowing the receipt of funds, and
Northern Rock offering FPS for only standing orders and not telephone or online payments.