A record amount of over £62m was withdrawn from post offices across the country on the Friday before Christmas (22nd), making it the largest single-day cash withdrawal ever. The increase surpassed his previous record of just over £51 million, set on the same day last year for his 11,500 stores across the UK, the Guardian reported.
This unprecedented increase in cash transactions highlights the significant increase in the cost of living over the past two years.
The inflation rate rose to 11.1% last year, the highest level in 41 years, but then fell to 3.9% in November, the lowest increase in two years.
Ross Borkett, the head of banking at the Post Office, said for some people, being able to withdraw cash for free helped them to finish last-minute shopping for the big day, while “for others it may have been a last-minute gift.”
During the cost-of-living crisis, cash transactions have witnessed a resurgence as individuals seek the practicality of physical money for budget management.
In 2022, cash payments saw a notable increase for the first time in ten years, rising by 7% to a total of 6.4 billion payments, according to UK Finance, the banking body.
On Christmas Day this year, approximately 1,500 Post Office branches, primarily situated in convenience stores, remained open, facilitating personal customer withdrawals totalling £800,000.
Simultaneously, the day also marked a substantial influx of consumers looking to deposit their Christmas cash and cheques, with personal deposits reaching £1.1 million.
Additionally, business customers deposited £1.06 million through Post Office branches on Christmas Day.
Borkett said millions of people rely on being able to access cash every day at their local Post Office, and it is no different on Christmas Day.
He added, business cash deposits being made on Christmas Day indicate just how vital it is that pub and restaurant owners have somewhere open and convenient to deposit their much-needed Christmas cash takings ahead of a quieter January.