Born in Ebbw Vale as the son of a sheet metal worker, when he was 8 his parents split up soon after his mother moved to London where he was offered a scholarship to independent public school St Dunstan's College in Catford. One snag through was that she couldn't afford the uniform so he got a round delivering paraffin on a wheelbarrow, at 13 he was employing a man to drive a lorry based tanker, two years later he sold the business.
During his schooling he was often encouraged to study art and so started to work as a printer, at the same time he soon realised his art skills were limited during his first year at London's Camberwell School of Art, and so transferred to studying interior design and latterly textiles at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, and then fashion house at New York's Parsons The New School for Design. .
On leaving this and with money coming from the paraffin business and his father for the sale of the home he opened his first shop called the boutique Clobber in London, which carried his own designs along with other designers' work. It proved to be such a success that in 1969, he launched his own fashion label. .
By the turn of 1975 he opened the first standalone Jeff Banks shop in London, as well as retail outlets in twenty-two department stores, including Harrods and Harvey Nichols. .
Four years later towards the end of the 1970ís he co-launched the fashion chain Warehouse, as well as continuing to work as a freelance designer. Soon after it was taken over by the retail chain Sears, where he was sacked for being disruptive in board meetings and one decision he never regrets. .
In 1979 and 1981 Jeff became British Designer of the Year, and in 1980 he was made British Coat Designer of the Year.
Soon after he started to present The Clothes Show, the BBC's long-running fashion show, alongside Salina Scott and Caryn Franklin in total he did over 320 episodes. The show its self attracted often had over 10million viewers. The off spin of this was the first "Clothes Show Live" in 1989 and was held at the National Exhibitions Centre in Birmingham, as well as the launch of the Clothes Show magazine.
Two years later he had signed a deal to design clothes for the Sainsbury's. The installation of Jeff Banks stores within Sainsbury's outlets proved successful. But this was short lives due to a disputer which led to the early termination of his contract. The resulting lawsuit was resolved with Sainsbury's agreeing to pay a reported settlement of £1 million, plus a box of truffles every week.
Recent events have seen him continue his work as a designer with designs for the Guide Association, and also for the England football team. He was involved with London's 2012 Olympics bid, which were modelled at the launch by Sir Bobby Charlton, Sir Steve Redgrave and Denise Lewis.
Banks has been married on two occasions the first to 1960's pop star Sandy Shaw, and then to the model Sue Mann, a model and makeup artist.
Jeff received a CBE from The Prince of Wales in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Friday 20 November 2009.