Richard Thomson, MP for the constituency of Gordon, has pledged his support for ‘Save Our Cash’ Day held today across the UK to raise awareness of the issues caused by the fact accessing cash is becoming increasingly difficult.
To find out more about the challenges faced in Gordon, Mr Thomson visited the Bucksburn Postmasters to speak about the cash services Post Offices provide for local business and people in the community. According to Which? Research, 4,188 bank branches in the UK have closed since the start of 2015 with more than 500 earmarked for closure this year.
Postmasters Sal Ahmad, her husband Zulfiqar and his brother Abdul are the key faces of Bucksburn Post Office on Greenburn Drive which opened on June 24 after the previous Post Office of the area closed in 2019.
Commenting, Mr Thomson said:
“Often we hear the disheartening news of Post Offices closing but here we have the opposite – the Ahmad family have seen the gap here and, after years of success running Berryden and other Post Offices, they’re offering the community vital services.
“The importance of the push to ‘Save Our Cash’ has increased recently with the sad closure of many bank branches. Post Offices offer such a wide range of services relating to cash – access to pensions, deposits of cash and much more. Particularly for older and vulnerable members of our communities, these facilities are vital.”
Eight million people have said in a recent Cash Review that they would struggle to survive without cash. New research from YouGov for the Post Office has shown that 72% of British consumers believe that cash is an important consumer right. The majority (57%) are concerned about bank branch closures and 38% said they would feel excluded or unable to do certain things if they could not get cash.
Postmaster Sal Ahmad said:
“We know that many customers are unaware of the various options that the Post Office can offer them in relation to cash. Individuals and businesses now have local access to their Bank accounts and can deposit and withdraw cash – this is a great service especially when we consider the number of Bank closures as of late. Post Offices like ours bring years of experience and don’t forget that most are now open until late in the evening and on Sundays. We would love to see more people using their local Post Offices for cash services.”
One of Mrs Ahmad’s regular customers Mike Cook uses the post office to buy supplies for older members of the community he lives in as well as for himself. He said: “Many of the elderly people in the area struggled when their nearest Post Office closed and I couldn’t believe how far they would have to go. When Sal opened here, there was genuine jubilation in the streets and everyone was excited there was a place to access their pensions and get cash to spend in the shops. One lady I know had a huge jar of change her bank were unable to accept but the Post Office were able to let her deposit it. Sal and her family have brought economic life back for so many people as well as bringing a smile to us shoppers.”
Nick Read, Chief Executive at the Post Office, said:
“Ensuring everyone in our communities continues to have access to cash is fundamental. We cannot forget those across the country who continue to rely on it – from millions of small businesses to ordinary people who use cash to budget, save and survive. With ‘Save Our Cash Day’, the Post Office is putting the spotlight on the urgent need to secure the long-term future of the cash system, and calling on the banks to work in partnership with us, to guarantee their customers’ continued access to cash and cash services.
Photograph shows Richard Thomson MP (r), with Postmaster Sal Ahmad (left) and regular customer Mike Cook (centre).