Cash deposits at Post Office branches increased by 27% in July
Cash deposits at Post Office branches totalled £1.8 billion in July, marking a 27% increase compared with June.
Meanwhile, cash withdrawals amounted to £607 million – a 13% month-on-month increase.
At £817 million, business cash deposits were nearly two thirds (63%) higher in July than in June, the Post Office said.
Business cash deposits were more than double the amount in July than they were earlier on in the coronavirus lockdown period during April, when more parts of the economy had been shut and deposits totalled £320 million.
However, the amount of cash deposited by business customers in July was still down compared with a year earlier, with £1.1 billion worth of deposits in July 2019.
Looking at personal cash deposits, the Post Office said that the value of these deposits 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, as people increasingly turned to the Post Office as a place they could deposit cash accumulated during the lockdown, the report said.
Nick Read, chief executive at the Post Office, said: “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.”
Looking at deposits from business customers, Mr Read said: “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.”
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.
John Howells, chief executive of ATM network Link, said more than £1.5 billion is still being withdrawn from cash machines every week, even during the lockdown.
He continued: “Covid-19 is undoubtedly reshaping how we pay for things and our relationship with cash, however, it is clear that the Post Office will continue to play a vital and growing role in the cash network, complementing the wider ATM footprint across the UK.
“Consumers can now use the Link locator app and website to find their nearest free to use ATM and Post Office.”