With over 11,500 branches, Post Office is the UK’s largest retail network, with more branches than all the banks and building societies combined. And Post Office branches are often the last counter in town where businesses can deposit a day’s takings. That ‘cash cycle’ will play a vital part in the UK’s economic recovery from Covid-19.
The Post Office Cash Tracker illustrates the continuing reliance that small businesses and individuals place on being able to quickly and securely deposit and withdraw cash.
Post Office Cash Tracker for November
Personal Cash deposits in November dip only 2% month-on-month – but lockdown in England contributes to 22% fall in business deposits
- Personal cash deposits totalled £966 million in November at Post Offices, down only 2% month-on-month despite national restrictions across England throughout the month
- Post Office branches remained open throughout November which ensured personal deposits remained relatively steady month-on-month
- Business deposits totalled £719 million, a 22% fall on October and lowest amount since June (£492 million) when the UK began exiting the first lockdown. This was a much smaller reduction compared to the first lockdown, reflecting different restrictions and hospitality and non-essential retail outlets ability to pivot their businesses and provide takeaways or deliver goods directly to customers.
- Post Offices are supporting small businesses and hospitality sector recover vital Christmas trading by staying open long hours during the week and weekends
- Personal cash withdrawals of £562 million, a dip of 4.5% month-on-month, indicates customers continued confidence and reliance on cash; December expected to see highest cash withdrawals since March when £634 million was withdrawn
Personal cash deposits remained relatively stable at Post Offices in November compared with the previous month, however business cash deposits fell 22%, largely as a result of national restrictions across England, according to the latest Post Office Cash Tracker.
Commenting on the trend in business cash deposits, Martin Kearsley, Director of Banking at the Post Office, said:
“Following a peak in September, almost on a par with what we saw last year, we’ve now seen small month on month falls correlating with tiered restrictions and circuit breaks being introduced in parts of the country and culminating with November’s lockdown across England. Feedback we get from Postmasters is that small and independent businesses have increasingly come to rely on their local Post Office. We’re open longer hours throughout December and the Christmas period, and will support businesses to deposit their takings at a time that’s convenient for them.”
The value of cash deposits by personal customers remains stable, and greatly exceeds pre-Covid-19 levels.
In November, £966 million was deposited in cash at Post Office counters, down just 2% compared with October.
In terms of cash withdrawals by personal customers, £562 million was withdrawn at the Post Office’s 11,500 counters. That compares with £589 million withdrawn in October.
Martin Kearsley, Director of Banking added: “The steady amount of cash deposited by personal customers at Post Offices despite England being under national restrictions last month shows how much Post Office supports those who need to budget on, and use, cash and continues to exceed pre-Covid levels. With cash withdrawals remaining steady we see the reliance millions of people place on the ability to access and deposit cash in a quick and secure manner at their local Post Office.”
Business deposits dropped 22% compared to October due to the national lockdown restrictions in England, and other regional circuit breakers across Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. While a significant drop, the impact of the lockdown was not as severe as the first lockdown. In April, business deposits fell to a low of £320 million, a 62% decrease compared with March.
As the UK exited the first lockdown earlier this year, Post Office data shows that business deposits in July were almost 40% higher than in June. With the removal of national restrictions in England on 2 December, an increase in business cash deposits at Post Offices is expected as small businesses and the hospitality sector open up and more people choose to support local businesses in the run-up to Christmas.
The data tables below show the combined Business & Personal deposits and withdrawals, as at end November 2020.
Business & Personal deposits
Business & Personal withdrawals
The chart below shows the cash deposits (for Personal, Business and Personal & Business combined) breakdown, as at end November 2020, for the the four nations (England, N Ireland, Scotland and Wales).
Combined (personal & business) deposits
This chart shows the cash withdrawals (for Personal, Business and then Personal & Business combined) breakdown, as at end October 2020, for the the four nations (England, N Ireland, Scotland and Wales).