£235m expected to be withdrawn from ATMs as voters go to UK polls

Around 235 million Pounds (298 million dollars) is expected to be withdrawn from ATMs on Thursday as people fit trips to cash machines around casting their general election votes.

This is according to a forecast from UK cash access and cash machine network Link reported on Wednesday.

The network expects the total to be lower than it was in Dec. 12, 2019, when the last general election was held.

On that date, which resulted in Boris Johnson returning to Downing Street as Conservative Prime Minister, 322 million Pounds was withdrawn.

The Link said that early December was tended to be a slightly busier time for cash machine withdrawals.

And on the general election date of June 8, 2017, which led to the then-prime minister Theresa May’s election gamble backfiring as the Conservatives’ Commons majority was erased.

Some 356 million Pounds was taken out of ATMs.

On Thursday last week (June 27), 240 million Pounds was dispensed from ATMs, according to Link’s figures.

The data applied only to Link transactions, which are made in situations when a bank customer uses an ATM belonging to another provider.

The vast majority of ATMs across the UK were connected to the Link network.

Link said that the earlier part of the summer tended to see an upswing in cash machine transactions as people got out and about.

But that the network often saw a dip in ATM transactions in August, as many UK residents headed off on holidays abroad.

Graham Mott, director of strategy at Link said.

“Polling day traditionally itself doesn’t seem to make a huge difference to ATM use when compared to a normal Thursday at that time of year; people seem to fit voting around their normal routine.

“Early December is normally slightly busier than either early June or July but the vast majority of the fall in ATM use is due to people now doing less cash overall.

“They are increasingly using cards and their phones to make day-to-day payments transactions.”

In 2023, legislation was passed as part of the Financial Services and Markets Act, to protect access to cash.

A recent survey for Link indicated that nearly half 48 per cent of people expected to see a cashless society in their lifetime.

But according to Link’s data, the average UK adult still withdrew around 1,500 pounds from cash machines last year.

In June, banknotes bearing King Charles III’s portrait started to be issued.

This marked the first time that the sovereign has been changed on the Bank of England’s notes, because the late queen was the first British monarch to be depicted on a note in 1960.

The new banknotes are co-circulating alongside those featuring the late queen.

There are more than 4.6 billion Bank of England notes in circulation, worth around 82 billion pounds.

Mott said that 99.8 per cent of UK high streets had free cash access within 1 kilometre.

“Link will also make sure this is still the case by the time of the next general election, whenever that is.”

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