Our Post Offices are often the last counter in town where businesses can deposit a day’s takings, and that ‘cash cycle’ will play a vital part in the UK’s economic recovery from Covid-19.
Banking services are important to Postmasters’ businesses which is why we are continuing to focus on growing and developing the service we offer. We now have over 30 banking partners in the Post Office Banking Framework, with Incuto, Coutts and Adam and Co joining in the last few weeks. More partners are being added all the time.
Today we have released our first monthly Post Office Cash Tracker which illustrates the continuing reliance that small businesses and individuals place on being able to quickly and securely deposit and withdraw cash.
This month, our Cash Tracker showed that use of cash remains strong across the Post Office network. Cash deposits and withdrawals at Post Office counters amounted to £2.4 billion in July. This is around £450 million higher (+24%) compared with June (£1.94 billion).
Further analysis on business banking and personal banking services is below.
Cash deposits specifically by business customers amounted to £817 million showing how much small businesses and independent retailers continue to rely on cash to survive. The figure for business cash deposits in July 2020 is still 29% down on July 2019 (£1.1 billion). When compared to the start of lockdown, our data shows that, in April, just under £320 million was deposited by business customers. This compared with over £1.1 billion in April 2019.
Post Office Chief Executive, Nick Read, said: “Our data tells us that every week business customers are slowly recovering from lockdown as we see a return to pre-lockdown levels of cash deposits at Post Offices. Our ability to keep branches open throughout the pandemic attracted cash deposits from small business and independent retailers who found their traditional bank branch closed or operating reduced hours. We expect to see a further increase in business deposits over the summer as the hospitality sector continues to open up.”
We are looking to develop a network of branches to operate a Drop & Go-style business banking service and we are asking Postmasters to sign up to participate. Read more here.
The value of cash deposits by personal customers has continued to increase month on month since April, and has now exceeded pre-Covid-19 levels. In July, £960 million was deposited in cash at Post Office counters. Deposits have now returned to higher levels than at the equivalent point in 2019 as individuals increasingly turned to the Post Office as a location where they could deposit cash accumulated during the lockdown period. In terms of cash withdrawals by personal customers, £582 million was withdrawn, however withdrawals have yet to exceed the same time last year.
Personal cash deposits
Personal cash withdrawals
Nick added: “Our data shows an encouraging growth in personal cash deposits but a slower return to pre-Covid-19 levels of cash withdrawals at our branches, which in part is likely due to the increase in contactless payments and the ability to withdraw cash at ATMs. Nevertheless, being able to withdraw and spend cash on everyday essentials remains vital for millions of people.”
For further data and analysis, you can find the Post Office Cash Tracker here.