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Post Office business cash deposits down 40% year-on-year

Emma Lunn
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Emma Lunn

Business cash deposits were down 40.7% to £582m in January 2021 compared with a year ago (£981m), according to the Post Office.

The Post Office’s January Cash Tracker shows the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on small businesses and the self-employed.

The data indicates businesses were better prepared for the December lockdown compared with the first UK-wide lockdown in Spring last year when business deposits fell to £313m in April. They totalled £345m in May and £493m in June before recovering over the summer.

It shows that personal cash withdrawals totalled £463m in January. This is the lowest amount withdrawn by personal customers since May 2020 when £450m was withdrawn.

Personal cash deposits in January 2021 totalled £931.6m, up 4.6% compared to January 2020 (£890.3m).

Overall, cash deposits and withdrawals by personal and business customers amounted to £1.99bn in January. This compares to £2.43bn in December 2020.

December and the run-up to Christmas always sees the biggest cash deposits and withdrawals over the counter at Post Office’s 11,500 branches.

Martin Kearsley, director of banking at the Post Office, said: “An over 40% fall in business cash deposits compared with same period last year continues to highlight the impact the Covid-19 lockdown is having on the UK’s small businesses and the self-employed who have traditionally relied on Post Offices to deposit their takings.

“It’s encouraging that personal cash deposits continue to rise. We have remained open during this lockdown to support our local communities. 99% of our branches are open, many late into the evenings and at the weekend, providing a critical cash service for personal and business customers.”

Gareth Shaw, Which? head of money, said: “Millions of people still rely on cash to pay for essentials and it is vital that these consumers can continue to access it locally, particularly if they are vulnerable.

“The first national lockdown saw tens of thousands of people cut off from cash, and ATM and bank branch closures have continued at pace since, highlighting the urgency for government legislation to protect access to cash.

“We have written to banks asking them to commit to two cash access schemes managed by the Post Office and ATM operator LINK until new laws are in effect, to ensure that consumers who are dependent on cash are not abandoned and are still able to withdraw the money they need without having to travel unreasonably long distances.”