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Cash deposits dip 4.6% to £1.9 billion at Post Office as Circuit Breaks and Tiered restrictions introduced in parts of the UK in October

Press release   •   Nov 10, 2020 07:00 GMT

  • Cash deposits by business and personal customers totalled £1.91 billion in October, dipping 4.6% compared with September (£2 billion)
  • First time since March that the value of cash deposits by business and personal customers has decreased month on month other than seasonal drop in August
  • With a lockdown in England throughout most of November, whilst Post Offices remain open, decline in cash deposits expected
  • Business deposits in Wales fall 14.3% (£6.7million) compared with September with branches in Cardiff, Swansea and Wrexham all seeing personal and business declines in deposits and withdrawals. Fall attributed to Circuit Breaker introduction
  • Post Offices open for business and support nation’s local communities with their cash and banking needs, as well as bill payments throughout lockdown and tier restrictions as banks likely to reduce their branch opening hours*

Cash deposits by business and personal customers at Post Office branches in October totalled £1.91 billion in October, dipping 4.6% (£92 million) compared with September (£2 billion). The decrease has been attributed to the introduction of Circuit Breaks and Tiered restrictions introduced in parts of the UK.

Wales**

In Wales business deposits fell 14.3% (over £6.7 million) compared with September. Personal deposits fell 5.5% (almost £3.4 million)

A Post Office analysis of branches in Cardiff, Swansea and Wrexham found that in the first week that the circuit break was implemented (Monday 26 October – Sunday 1 November) deposits at branches in Cardiff and Wrexham both fell over 17% and in Swansea they fell by 12% compared with the same week a month ago when there were no restrictions (Monday 21 September – Sunday 27 September).

Scotland***

In Scotland business deposits fell 1.8% (£1.5 million) compared with September, however they were down 31.5% (£37 million) compared with October last year. Personal deposits fell 4.7% (over £3.3 million).

A Post Office analysis of branches in Edinburgh and Glasgow found that in the week after restrictions were first placed on the Central Belt (Monday 12 October – Sunday 18 October) deposits at branches in both places fell by over 5% compared with the same week a month ago when there were no restrictions (Monday 7 September – Sunday 13 September).

Overall, cash deposits and withdrawals by business and personal customers amounted to over £2.5 billion in October, down 3.6% on September (2.6 billion) but up 7.3% on August (£2.35 billion) and up 5.8% on July (£2.4 billion). Data is taken from the fourth Post Office Cash Tracker showing the billions of pounds deposited and withdrawn each month at its 11,500 branch locations.

Post Office Cash tracker data – October 2020

Cash deposits value (business & personal) MOM% YOY% Cash withdrawals value (business & personal) MOM% YOY% Total cash deposits & withdrawal value for October 2020
UK[1] £1.91bn -4.6% +0.5% £611.7m -0.5% -7.7% £2.52bn
England £1.55bn -4.5% +4.1% £482.4m -0.5% -8.3% £2.03
Scotland £148.7m -3.1% -20.2% £48.1m +1.8% -3.6% £196.8m
Wales £97.9m -9.3% -5.9% £50.1m -2.2% -8.6% £148m
Northern Ireland £107.7m -3.7% -6.7% £31.2m -0.5% -2.6% £138.9m

Commenting on October’s data, Martin Kearsley, Director of Banking at the Post Office, said:

“Our data tells us that where hospitality and non-essential retail businesses have had to close as a result of a lockdown restrictions there are falls in cash deposit takings at Post Offices. We do expect deposits to decline in England in November, though less than during the national lockdown earlier this year.”

Martin Kearsley added:

“Post Offices are open for business during lockdowns and whilst banks may restrict their opening hours, the nation’s local communities and small businesses can rely on our branches to deposit their cash. As restrictions ease, we will support the UK’s economic revival as the place where cash can be quickly and locally deposited.”

Business customers

Cash deposits specifically by business customers amounted to £924 million showing how much small businesses and independent retailers continue to rely on cash to operate. The figure was 4.2% down compared with September (£965 million), but October was still the third highest month for business deposits this year after January 2020.

Personal customers

The value of cash deposits by personal customers remains high, and greatly exceeds pre-Covid-19 levels. In September, £984 million was deposited in cash at Post Office counters. In terms of cash withdrawals by personal customers, £589 million was withdrawn at the Post Office’s 11,500 counters. This is almost the same as was withdrawn in September (down 0.4%).

Personal cash deposits

Personal cash withdrawals

For further data and analysis, visit www.corporate.postoffice.co.uk/cashtracker

Ends

About Post Office Cash Tracker and access to cash

Data included in this press release reflects cash services used under the Banking Framework. Over 30 banks and building societies are part of the Banking Framework which enables their customers to withdraw or deposit cash at any of the Post Office’s 11,500 branches. The figures exclude Post Office Card Account withdrawals.

Post Office is supporting the Community Access to Cash Pilots initiative led by Natalie Ceeney, Chair of the Access to Cash Review. Pilots will run in nine local communities to trial how to improve their access to cash. There will be three new local ‘banking hubs’ in dedicated retail spaces on the high street created, which combine the cash-transaction facilities of a Post Office with access to community banking services offered by retail banks. Post Office is also refurbishing branches or providing pop up services in the remaining areas.

*About 2,280 banks and building society branches and 7,200 cash machines shut between April and June, according to data from the Financial Conduct Authority and the Payments System Regulator, The Sunday Times, 02/08/20

** https://gov.wales/coronavirus-firebreak-frequently-asked-questions

*** https://www.gov.scot/news/new-moves-to-stop-covid-19-spread/

[1]Figures for cash deposits value and cash withdrawals value by country have been rounded to the nearest million. This is why value figures per country will not add up exactly to the total for the UK. 

About Post Office:

  • With over 11,500 branches, Post Office has the biggest retail network in the UK, with more branches than all the banks and building societies combined.
  • Post Office is helping anyone who wants cash to get it whichever way is most convenient. Partnership with over 30 banks, building societies and credit unions means that 99% of UK bank customers can access their accounts at their Post Office.
  • Cash withdrawals, deposits and balance enquiries can be made securely and conveniently over the counter at any Post Office; and the biggest investment by any organisation or company in the last decade is being made to safeguard 1,400 free-to-use ATMs across the UK.
  • Post Office is simplifying its proposition for Postmasters with a focus on its cash and banking; mails and parcels; foreign exchange; and bill payments services.
  • Research has found that visits to the Post Office help drive another 400 million visitors to other shops, restaurants and local businesses equating to an estimated £1.1 billion in additional revenue for High Street businesses.
  • 99.7% of the population live within three miles of a Post Office; and 4,000 branches are open seven days a week.