// Business customers deposited £831m in August, up by 3.% compared with July and compared to £313m in April
// £945m was deposited in cash by personal customers at Post Office counters – a 16.3% increase compared with last year
Signs of a return to cash use by shoppers and businesses were seen in August as people ventured out to local high streets 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 underlines the extent to which small businesses and independent retailers still rely on cash to operate.
Back in April, at the height of the coronavirus lockdown, £313 million was deposited by business customers.
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The data is taken from the Post Office cash tracker, showing the flow of cash through its 11,500 branch locations.
Meanwhile, £945 million was deposited in cash by personal customers at Post Office counters – a 16.3 per cent increase compared with the same month a year earlier.
The Post Office said this reflects people depositing cash built up during the lockdown period, at a time when many banks were operating reduced opening hours.
The report said that everyday banking services in the Post Office normally tend to be used less in August, compared with other months.
However, it said the high deposit levels in August indicate a continued reliance on cash.
“Our data shows that businesses and customers continue to rely on their local Post Office as the destination where they can deposit their cash,” Post Office chief executive Nick Read said.
“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.”
Post Office banking director Martin Kearsley said: “There are definitely encouraging signs of a return to the use and importance of cash following the significant lockdown dip.
“We are seeing a month-on-month growth in business cash deposits since the start of lockdown as people return to work and venture out to our shops, pubs and restaurants and leisure and tourism attractions.”
with PA Wires