News > Hot weather triggers cash spree
It seems that the sudden onset of the summer had sun-starved Britons reaching for more than their long abandoned suntan lotion over the last few days. It had them reaching for their wallets as well. According to the Link network, which runs a network of cash machines covering most of the country, more money was withdrawn from UK cash machines last Friday than on any other day so far this year.
The company said that £577m was taken out from Link's machines that day as day trippers prepared for the warm weekend, making it the highest amount withdrawn on a single day since Christmas Eve of last year. There are 64,000cash machines connected to the Link network in the UK, and the figures cover withdrawals from these machines. It means that judging by usual withdrawal patterns this figure of more than half a billion pounds only represents about 65% of total cash withdrawals.
The £577m withdrawn on Friday 30th September was 14% higher than the amount taken out of cash machines on the same day a year earlier. The cash spree continued through the weekend as temperatures remained high, and on Sunday 2nd October £252m was withdrawn, a rise of 11% on the corresponding Sunday a year earlier.
"The good weather really seems to have encouraged people to withdraw cash in preparation for increased spending over an unusually sunny weekend - confirmation that the right combination of feel good factors can boost short term spending and that cash is a very popular way of paying for these kinds of goods and services," said John Howells, chief executive of Link. One reason suggested for the link between the hot weather and the increased withdrawals may be that consumers prefer to use cash for their al-fresco spending rather than cards.
Of course in the present economic conditions – and the British being British – every silver lining comes with its attendant cloud. Some retail analysts have suggested that the unexpected warm weather spree could hit early sales of autumn fashions, and possibly even early Christmas sales. But to be honest, if this means that the usual onslaught of Christmas based tat arriving on the shelves is delayed by a few weeks, maybe the story ends with a silver lining after all.