A “milestone moment” for UK Post Office

A “milestone moment” for UK Post Office

Post Office saw the highest ever amount of cash deposited and withdrawn from its 11,500 branches nationwide in June, according to the latest data from its Cash Tracker.

In total, £2.87 billion was deposited and withdrawn in cash in June with personal cash deposits exceeding £1 billion for the fourth month in a row (£1.2 billion in June); and business cash deposits exceeding £1 billion for the first time in over 18 months, totalling £1.02 billion in June.

The last time business deposits exceeded £1 billion, excluding Christmas, was October 2019 (£1.05 billion). Personal cash withdrawals were at their highest level since March 2020.

Cash deposits

Business cash deposits were up almost 24% month-on-month as the economy continued to unlock in June and consumers returned to the High Street.

A Post Office survey of more than 500 UK small businesses last week revealed that two thirds (66%) feel that the continued use of cash is important to the recovery of the UK retail industry post-lockdown. Nearly 1 in 5 (18%) said that they depended on their local Post Office branch for cash and banking services.

The previous highest month for business cash deposits, since the Covid-19 pandemic reached the UK was September 2020 (£965 million). Pre Covid, the highest amount ever deposited, excluding Christmas, had been £1.13 billion in July 2019.

Personal cash deposits exceeded a billion pounds for the fourth successive month. In June, £1.2 billion was deposited over the counters, which is a record amount at Post Offices and was up 12% month-on-month (£1.06 billion in May).

Whilst personal cash deposits in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland continue to exceed pre-Covid levels

£103 million in January 2020. In Northern Ireland, they totalled £31.9 million in June 2021, compared with £41.2 million in January 2020.

Cash withdrawals

Personal cash withdrawals totalled £636 million in June, the highest amount withdrawn from Post Office counters since March 2020 (£634 million), excluding Christmas. Personal cash withdrawals were up over 9% month-on-month. Research published last week by the Post Office found that 72% of UK consumers believe that cash is an important consumer right.

In Northern Ireland and Wales, cash withdrawals exceeded pre-Covid levels of March 2020, whilst in Scotland the amount withdrawn in June 2021 (£50.2 million) was almost the same as the amount withdrawn in March 2020 (£51.6 million).

In Wales, business cash deposits totalled £49.3 million in June 2021 broadly the same as pre Covid, £49.9 million in January 2020. However, in Scotland, business cash deposits totalled £83.3 million in June 2021, compared with £103 million in January 2020. In Northern Ireland, they totalled £31.9 million in June 2021, compared with £41.2 million in January 2020.

Overall, cash deposits and withdrawals at Post Offices in June amounted to £2.87 billion. This compares with £2.49 billion in May and £2.45 billion in April.

Martin Kearsley, Banking Director at Post Office, said: “Millions of people and small businesses continue to rely on cash to budget, save and survive. Exceeding £1 billion in business cash deposits for the first time in over 18 months is a milestone moment for Post Office and especially for Postmasters, demonstrating the vital role they play in the cash eco-system in their local community as we come out of Covid19 restrictions.

“Many branches open late in the evening and at weekends, providing local businesses with a convenient location to deposit much needed takings and in turn serve their own customers longer too. The ability to withdraw cash securely over the counter is helping consumers who rely on cash to access it locally, resulting in more cash being spent with small businesses within local communities.”

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