Record amount withdrawn at post offices in July – up 14% YOY

Chris Wildman, Postmaster for Airton Post Office branch serving a customer cash. Photo: Post Office

Post Office saw the highest ever amount of cash withdrawn from its 11,500 branches outside of the Christmas period, according to the latest date from its Cash Tracker.

In total, £2.87 billion was deposited and withdrawn in cash in July, identical to the amount in June (also £2.87 billion). Business cash deposits exceeded £1 billion for the second month in a row and personal cash deposits exceeded £1 billion for the fifth month in a row. Both saw slight dips compared with June. However, personal cash withdrawals were up 4.6%, which resulted in cash deposits and withdrawals being identical month-on-month.

Personal cash withdrawals in July 2021 totalled £665 million. This was the highest amount
withdrawn at Post Office counters excluding the traditionally busy December period. Cash
withdrawals in July did exceed December 2020’s £641 million. (The highest amount ever withdrawn at Post Office counters was £707 million in December 2019.)

Personal cash withdrawals in July were up 4.6% month-on-month and up 14.3% year-on-year, indicating that consumers are continuing to spend cash on retail and hospitality as the
country opens again after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Business cash deposits exceeded £1 billion for the second month in a row. This was the first time since October 2019 that cash deposits had exceeded £1 billion for two consecutive months. Business cash deposits totalled £1 billion in July 2021, which was down just 1.7% month-on-month (£1.02 billion, June 2021).

A Post Office survey of more than 500 UK small businesses last month revealed that two
thirds (66%) feel 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.

Personal cash deposits exceeded a billion pounds for the fifth successive month. In July,
£1.18 billion was deposited over the counters, which was down just 1.2% month-on-month
(£1.19 billion in June).

“Our Postmasters are providing increased support to their local communities with a
convenient and secure way to withdraw cash,” said said Martin Kearsley, Banking Director at Post Office. “As some banks continue to close branches, either permanently or in response to staff shortages during the pandemic, Post Offices are ‘the last counter in town’ in many places across the country.

“More than £665 million was withdrawn in a single month and this cash is predominantly
being spent in local businesses, cafes and pubs on the High Street. Post Offices will continue to play a key role in local communities’ cash eco-system up and down the country. Many branches are also 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.”