Nationwide sees cash usage rise again as Britons hit by bank branch closures turn to building society's ATM

Nationwide Building Society ATM outside branch

Nationwide Building Society saw 31.4 million withdrawals from its ATMs last year

Jessica Sheldon

By Jessica Sheldon

Published: 03/01/2024

- 12:01

Updated: 03/01/2024

- 12:12

Nationwide, which has a network of more than 1,200 ATMS in the UK

Nationwide Building Society has seen cash usage rise for a second year in a row, with 31.4 million withdrawals made from its ATMs last year.

It marks a four per cent increase on 2022, and the average amount of cash taken out on each withdrawal has also risen – to around £105 last year.

Nationwide said the growth seen in cash usage is at its most pronounced in towns where the building society is the last remaining branch following bank branch closures.

Nationwide, which has a network of more than 1,200 ATMS, said average ATM usage has increased 55 per cent in these areas.

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Nationwide Building Society ATM inside branch

Prior to 2022, the number of cash withdrawals had been declining, Nationwide Building Society said


It marks the second consecutive annual rise as 2022 saw the first rise in cash withdrawals for 13 years, Nationwide said.

Prior to 2022, the number of cash withdrawals had been declining, most sharply at the start of the pandemic when Nationwide ATM withdrawals fell by more than 40 per cent in a year.

Otto Benz, director of payments at Nationwide Building Society, said ATMS play a “vital role in society”, as they enable people to “easily” access and manage their money flow.

He added: “We now have the largest branch network in the UK, which allows us to support customers who want access to cash, whether from our ATMs or over the counter.

“Unfortunately, the large banks have closed, and in some cases are still closing large numbers of branches, meaning far fewer free-to-use ATMs are available.”

Mr Benz added: “ATMs do more than just dispense cash - nearly half of transactions are from people paying money in, checking their balance or paying a household bill.

“This goes to show this is far from the end for cash and we will continue to offer our customers the ability to access their money on their terms whether that be digitally or in branch.”

Nationwide said the places it’s seen the biggest increases in cash withdrawals as a result of becoming the last branch in town include Twickenham (seeing a 154 per cent increase in cash use during the last year), Redruth (144 per cent), Purley (92 per cent), Broadstone (80 per cent) and Hunstanton (77 per cent).

The building society said the majority (90 per cent) of the increase in withdrawals in “last branch in town” areas over the last two years has been from non-Nationwide customers.

Nationwide has made a Branch Promise commitment, meaning it will remain everywhere it has a branch until at least 2026.

With 605 sites in operative, it is now the provider with the most branches remaining open across the UK, according to Which?.

The consumer champion said banks and building societies have closed 5,791 branches since January 2015.

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