The Post Office Cash Tracker

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 December

Personal cash withdrawals and deposits up over 5% in December

  • Over £1.6 billion was withdrawn and deposited by personal customers at Post Office’s 11,500 branches in December. Over 5% (£91 million) more compared with November
  • Personal cash withdrawals in December totalled £640.7 million, up 14% on November when much of the UK was in lockdown. Personal cash deposits totalled £978.6 million, up 1.3% on November
  • Post Offices are open long hours throughout the latest national lockdown and provide personal and business customers a convenient and secure location to do their everyday banking
  • Overall, cash deposits and withdrawals by personal and business customers amounted to £2.43 billion in December. Only 10% down on same month last year despite varied levels of Covid-19 related restrictions last month
  • In 2020, £19.6 billion was deposited by personal and business customers at Post Offices. £7 billion was withdrawn by personal and business customers.

Post Offices in December saw the highest amount of personal cash withdrawals over the counter all year, according to the latest Post Office Cash Tracker.

In total, £640.7 million was withdrawn by personal customers, the highest amount since the first UK-wide lockdown was introduced when £634.3 million was withdrawn in March. The December figure was up 14% compared with November when much of the UK was in lockdown (£562.2 million).

Personal cash deposits totalled £978.6 million, up 1.3% on November (£966 million). Business cash deposits at Post Office’s 11,500 branches were also up in December. They totalled £788.3 million, up 9.6% compared with November (£719.5 million)

The run-up to Christmas traditionally sees increased cash deposits and withdrawals compared to previous months. Overall, cash deposits and withdrawals by personal and business customers amounted to £2.43 billion in December. This was just under 10% down in value from this time last year despite lockdown restrictions across the UK impacting small businesses and the cash-reliant hospitality sector in particular.

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

December is traditionally a busy time for Postmasters as more people come in to deposit and withdraw cash compared with any other month. This remained the case, despite Covid-19 restrictions in many parts of the UK at the time. Our data indicates that millions of people relied on cash, as withdrawals rebounded from November’s lockdown, and customers took cash out to give as gifts to loved ones or to ensure they had money for purchases in the run-up to Christmas.

In 2020, £19.6 billion was deposited by personal and business customers at Post Offices. £7 billion was withdrawn by personal and business customers.

Martin Kearsley commented:

Our data shows that with more people living and working at home, 2020 was the year that many discovered they could deposit and withdraw cash at the counter of their local Post Office. Despite the introduction of lockdowns, Post Offices remain open and our branch network has provided a lifeline to small businesses in particular that have needed somewhere open long hours to deposit their cash takings.