Post Office has today launched an important new campaign calling on government and industry to work together to ‘Save Our Cash’.
Around eight million adults have said they would struggle day to day without cash, with 1.4 million people not having a bank account and relying on cash to survive. 55% of cash-accepting small businesses deposited cash at least weekly, meaning they need somewhere convenient and secure to deposit their takings.
Yet access to cash is rapidly declining, with widespread bank branch closures across the country. 4,000 bank branches have closed since the start of 2015, at a rate of 55 per month, and it is estimated there will be just 4,100 bank branches left in the UK by 2025.
The campaign tells the stories of everyday people and businesses that rely on cash the most, demonstrating why a legal obligation must now be placed on banks to provide access to cash free at the point of service for both consumers and businesses.
Our campaign hub - www.saveourcash.co.uk - features case studies from Matt, Delanie, Bjorn, Jane, Stefan and Sam who all embody and emphasise why cash is important, sharing their authentic, real stories aligned to six themes; saving, self, service, sustainability, survival and safety.
The hub also encourages people to get involved by taking a quiz to understand how cash impacts them and loved ones and writing to their local MP to call on government to bring forward legislation.
Moreover, the campaign will help us engage key policymakers in order to drive action, as well as help to secure commitment from banks to Banking Framework 3.
The Banking Framework
Our Banking Framework agreement with 30 UK banks, building societies and credit unions ensures millions of customers have national, free access to cash and vital banking services over the counter from their local Post Office. Despite this, the short-term nature of the Framework, which lasts just three years, fails to provide certainty to the millions of people and businesses that rely on it, with no guarantee that it will exist if the banks do not commit to a long-term agreement.
On average, over £2 billion of cash is withdrawn and deposited per month at Post Office branches. Annual volumes of cash withdrawals over our counters have grown by 46%, to £7.8 billion since the start of the Banking Framework in 2017, and cash deposits have increased by 110% to £22.1 billion in the same period.
Nick Read, Chief Executive, said: “Continued access to cash is not a luxury for millions of people and businesses across the country: it is an absolute necessity for their way of life. For them cash provides safety, security and even survival, which is why legislation is now needed to place an obligation on the banks, whose own customers’ interests we are concerned with.
“Working in partnership with the banks is pivotal to building a secure and sustainable cash system and ensuring financial inclusion. But the current cash infrastructure is fragile, and we need the industry to fully commit to meeting its service obligations, supported by appropriate legislation that ultimately ensures we Save Our Cash.”