• Santander's analysis shows healthy summer seaside cash spending across the UK
  • Brighton and Blackpool top the charts for the total amount of cash taken out at ATMs
  • Caernarfon (North Wales) and Sidmouth (Devon) see biggest uplift in ‘tourist’ cash withdrawals over the summer

New analysis1 by Santander shows cash withdrawals more than doubling (with an average increase of 108 per cent) in coastal towns across the UK during the summer months as holidaymakers splash out on ice-creams, thrill rides and amusements.

In terms of the overall amount of money withdrawn, Brighton is the summer cash capital with Blackpool in second place. Each of these holiday hotspots saw nearly £3m taken out from Santander’s cashpoints over the summer holiday period in 2017. These popular tourist destinations were followed by Southport, which is renowned for its beaches and pier, and Swansea whose Rhossili Bay beach was named the 10th best beach in the world by a leading travel magazine.

The study, which looked at ATM figures from 75 coastal bank branches in 2017 reveals that Caernarfon (North Wales) and Sidmouth (Devon) saw the biggest uplift in cash withdrawals – 136 per cent up on the rest of the year. Withdrawals in Rhyl, Weymouth and Bridport increased by 128 per cent during the summer months, as people were drawn to spend on attractions including aquariums, harbour museums and panoramic viewing galleries.

Matt Hall, Head of Banking and Unsecured Credit at Santander UK said: “While many people enjoy the flexibility of contactless payments, our research shows we are still a long way off a cashless society with Britain’s seaside towns witnessing a vast influx of visitors each year relying on cash for their summer holiday spending. Millions of people find cash a helpful way to monitor their spending on holiday. Our network of ATMs makes it easy and convenient for holidaymakers to access their money from a substantial number of locations across the UK.” 


City/town with the biggest % uplift in cash withdrawn during the summer

 1Caernarfon – 136% 
 = Sidmouth – 136%
 3Rhyl – 128% 
 =Weymouth – 128% 
 = Bridport – 128%
 6 St Andrews – 123%
 7Poulton-le-Fylde – 120% 
 8Berwick-upon-Tweed – 119% 
 9 Torquay – 118%
 = Holywell – 118%
 = Musselburgh – 118%
 =Fraserburgh – 118%  



City/town with the biggest % uplift in cash withdrawn during the summer



Source: Santander

Meanwhile, Santander is predicting a dash for cash on the 24th August 2018 as people take out money for the bank holiday weekend. Last year the Friday before the bank holiday saw withdrawals 33% higher than the next busiest summer day as people prepared to head off for the long weekend. In Blackpool the Saturday of the bank holiday weekend last year saw cash withdrawals more than double the daily average across the rest of the holiday season.

Across Europe 79 per cent of point of sale transactions are still made in cash2 and the analysis indicates tourists like to use cash for their holiday spending.

Santander has the following tips to stay safe when using an ATM:

  • When withdrawing money at an ATM look out for any signs that the machine has been tampered with. Fraudsters use a number of ways to ‘modify’ cashpoints so they can get hold of your card and PIN details:
    • A device may be placed over the card slot which scans your card details, or a fake keypad may have been placed over the real one. Look out for parts of the cashpoint machine that appear a different colour or material to the rest, and if you have any doubts, use a different machine.
    • Hidden cameras or mirrors may be placed around the cashpoint – look out for places these could be hidden e.g. a nearby leaflet stand; or for damage or possibly stickers that could be trying to cover up damage where holes have been drilled
    • Santander cashpoint machines have anti-fraud features, such as an anti-skimming device (a green ‘beak’ that sticks out from the card slot) which can help keep your details safe – or alternatively contactless ATMs can be a good way to keep your card safe from being skimmed or retained.
    • Look for a machine with a PIN pad cover, or use your hand to shield your PIN.
    • Be wary of anybody standing closely behind when using an ATM and don’t fall for someone trying to distract you so they can take your card, money or other details while you aren’t concentrating.
    • If your card is stuck or confiscated by an ATM call your bank immediately and report the issue – it could be that a device has been used to make your card stick so it can be retrieved by fraudsters later
    • When you take out cash avoid counting it obviously, put it away along with your receipt. And if you take a receipt, be careful to destroy in carefully once you’ve finished with it.

    Santander has over 2,400 cash machines across the UK. For more details on where to find Santander’s branches, visit our branch locator.

    The information contained in our press releases is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions.

    Notes to Editors

    1. Analysis of ATM withdrawals by volume and value through 2017 across its coastal branch network in Britain. Summer months determined to be the period from Saturday, 1 July to Friday, 1 September 2017. Comparison of average summer cash withdrawals compared to yearly average.
    2. https://www.g4s.com/media-centre/news/2018/04/17/global-cash-report

    Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. It has brought real competition to the UK, through its innovative products for retail customers and relationship banking model for UK SMEs. At 30 June 2018, the bank has c24,200 employees. It serves around 15 million active customers, via a nationwide branch network, telephone, mobile and online banking; and 64 regional Corporate Business Centres. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.

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    Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading retail and commercial bank, founded in 1857 and headquartered in Spain. It has a meaningful market share in 10 core markets in Europe and the Americas, and is the largest bank in the euro zone by market capitalization. At the end of June 2018, Banco Santander had EUR 981 billion in customer funds (deposits and mutual funds), 140 million customers, 13,500 branches and 200,000 employees. Banco Santander made attributable profit of EUR 3,752 million in the first half of 2018, an increase of 4% compared to the same period last year.

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