The Scotsman

Cash makes a come­back as peo­ple re­turn to the pub and work­place

- By VICKY SHAW Business · Banking · United Kingdom · Nick Read

En­cour­ag­ing signs of a re­turn to cash use by peo­ple and busi­nesses were seen in Au­gust as peo­ple ven­tured out to pubs and back to work, ac­cord­ing to the Post Of­fice.

Busi­ness cus­tomers de­posited £831 mil­lion, up by 3.1 per cent com­pared with July, which the Post Of­fice said un­der­lined the ex­tent to which small firms and in­de­pen­dent re­tail­ers still re­lied on cash to op­er­ate. Back in April, when stricter coron­avirus lock­down mea­sures were in place gen­er­ally across the UK, £313m was de­posited by busi­ness cus­tomers. The data is taken from the Post Of­fice cash tracker, show­ing the flow of cash through its 11,500 branch lo­ca­tions. Mean­while, £945m was de­posited in cash by per­sonal cus­tomers at Post Of­fice coun­ters – a 16.3 per cent rise com­pared with the same month a year ear­lier.

The Post Of­fice said this re­flected peo­ple de­posit­ing cash built up dur­ing the lock­down pe­riod, at a time when many banks have been op­er­at­ing re­duced open­ing hours.

The re­port said that ev­ery­day bank­ing ser­vices in the Post Of­fice nor­mally tended to be used less in Au­gust. But it said the high de­posit lev­els in Au­gust in­di­cated a con­tin­ued re­liance on cash.

Nick Read, chief ex­ec­u­tive at the Post Of­fice, said: “Our data shows that busi­nesses and cus­tomers con­tinue to rely on their lo­cal Post Of­fice as the des­ti­na­tion where they can de­posit their cash.

“Our net­work of branches in sea­side towns, ru­ral lo­ca­tions and close prox­im­ity to pop­u­lar tourist sites has meant that in­de­pen­dent busi­nesses have had a con­ve­nient lo­ca­tion to drop off their day’s takings.”

Martin K ears ley, di­rec­tor of bank­ing at the Post Of­fice, said :“There are def­i­nitely en­cour­ag­ing signs of a re­turn to the use of cash.”

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