On 12 October 2021, the House of Commons published a briefing paper titled, ‘Statistics on access to cash, bank branches and ATMs’. This briefing paper is comprised of statistics on cash use, access to cash, bank and building society branches, post offices and ATMs.
Some of the headlines from the briefing paper include:
- Digital payments are the preferred method of payment as opposed to cash. Only 17% of payments were made with cash during 2020.
- Whilst many customers still value face-to-face service, the total number of bank and building society branches has declined. Between 2012 and 2021, the total number of bank and building society branches in the UK fell by 34%.
- Post offices provide some consumer financial services and sometimes act as an alternative to bank branches. The number of post offices in the UK has remained at a similar level since around 2009.
- The total number of ATMs in the UK peaked in 2015 at 70,588 and has fallen each year since then to the July 2021 total of 52,951.
- A lack of access to cash is primarily situated in Northern Ireland where 16.5% of the population were not within 2km of a cash access point. This figure was significantly less in the UK where only 4.4% of the population were not within 2km of a cash access point.
A supporting document which contains further data on cash use, bank branches and ATMS has also been published.