Barclays bank caps in-branch cash deposits for personal banking customers

Barclays has placed a cap on how much you can pay into your bank with cash in a bid to fight financial crime - will you be affected?

A person makes a cash deposit at a bank
Barclays has announced a new cash deposit limit
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Barclays has unveiled a cash deposit limit that will affect in-branch customers from this summer.

Designed to crack down on financial crime,  the high street giant has imposed a new £20,000 limit for all personal accounts, including children’s savings accounts. This cap will refresh annually.

The move follow a warning from the bank earlier this week that is has seen a rise in investment scams. The news also comes as Barclays continues to reduce the size of its branch estate, with 57 sites set to close by 2025. It also recently acquired Tesco Bank in what is expected to be a £600m deal.

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What are Barclays’ new cash deposit rules?

Barclays’ new cash deposit limit will mean no one will be able to pay more than £20,000 per year into their personal accounts using a bank branch. This rule will include children’s savings accounts and joint accounts, but does not apply to business accounts.

Coming in from 1 July 2024, the limit will refresh every year in January. It means the £20,000 cap will initially apply to a six-month period from this summer until January 2025.

The new rules apply to deposits handed in over the counter, or through a self-service device, with each cash deposit counting towards the annual total. If you have a joint account with one other person, it means you will only physically be able to put in a maximum of £10,000 each. Online transactions and cheque deposits are set to be unaffected by the change.

It comes on top of a £10,000 cash deposit limit at Post Office branches offering Barclays' banking services. Any deposits made via these branches will also count towards the Barclays limit.

Why is Barclays introducing the cash deposit limit?

Explaining the rationale for the changes, a Barclays spokesperson said they would help the bank to ensure its in-branch services are not being used for nefarious activities. For example, the new rules will make it harder for money laundering schemes to operate.

The spokesperson said: “We take financial crime and our responsibility to prevent money laundering seriously. We have contacted customers to let them know that from July we are making some changes to the amount of cash customers can deposit into their Barclays accounts. We have set the limit at an amount that will allow us to better identify suspicious activity, while still ensuring our customers have access to cash.”

It comes after the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) wrote to more than 1,000 financial services firms in March to remind them of their anti-money laundering responsibilities. The regulator said these companies, which included lenders, safe custody providers, brokers and financial leasing companies, were “still not getting the basics right” when it came to looking out for financial crimes.

Regulators and big-name banks have become much more alert to financial crimes, like money laundering, in recent years after several high-profile cases involving household names. In 2018, Danske Bank was caught out for funnelling ill-gotten gains through a branch in Estonia.

And in 2022, Credit Suisse was found to have laundered money for a Bulgarian drugs ring. This, and several other scandals, contributed to the Swiss giant’s collapse in 2023 following a wobble in market confidence in the global banking system.

Do other banks have cash deposit limits?

By announcing its new cash deposit limit, Barclays becomes one of the few major banks to have an in-branch maximum. Here are the personal deposit rules at some of the other high street groups and brands:

  • HSBC: no in-branch limit, although customers going via a Post Office can only deposit up to £3,000 a day, and £20,000 a year.
  • Lloyds: no in-branch limit, however people can only deposit up to £5,000 a day at mobile branches. In Post Offices, there is a monthly £2,955 limit, and an annual maximum of £20,000, if you have your debit card with you. Without it, you can only deposit £1,000 in one go.
  • Nationwide: no over-the-counter limit, but you cannot deposit more than £2,500 into an in-branch machine per day.
  • NatWest: there is no over-the-counter limit. You cannot deposit more than £3,000 a day, or £24,000 over a rolling 12-month period, at a Post Office or via any deposit machine.
  • Santander: a maximum of £20,000 can be deposited per day. At a Post Office, the limit is £10,000. There is an annual rolling limit of £240,000.
  • TSB: no in-branch limit, but there are daily deposit limits of £1,500 and £10,000 per year in Post Office branches.
Henry Sandercock
Staff Writer

Henry Sandercock has spent more than eight years as a journalist covering a wide variety of beats. Having studied for an MA in journalism at the University of Kent, he started his career in the garden of England as a reporter for local TV channel KMTV. 

Henry then worked at the BBC for three years as a radio producer - mostly on BBC Radio 2 with Jeremy Vine, but also on major BBC Radio 4 programmes like The World at One, PM and Broadcasting House. Switching to print media, he covered fresh foods for respected magazine The Grocer for two years. 

After moving to - a national news site run by the publisher of The Scotsman and Yorkshire Post - Henry began reporting on the cost of living crisis, becoming the title’s money editor in early 2023. He covered everything from the energy crisis to scams, and inflation. You will now find him writing for MoneyWeek. Away from work, Henry lives in Edinburgh with his partner and their whippet Whisper.