Home Money How easy is it to withdraw a lump sum of cash from YOUR bank?

How easy is it to withdraw a lump sum of cash from YOUR bank?

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Most banks will ask questions about what a larger cash withdrawal is for as part of anti-money laundering and fraud controls.
  • We asked the UK’s biggest banks what customers need to do to withdraw £5,000

In recent years, bank customers have found it more difficult to withdraw large sums of their own money at bank tellers to use for things like construction or buying a used car.

This is because banks are stepping up their anti-money laundering measures and say they are trying to keep customers safe from fraud attempts.

Some customers are asked for proof of a bill to withdraw cash for construction work, while others are denied access to their own money by the bank.

Most banks will ask questions about what a larger cash withdrawal is for as part of anti-money laundering and fraud controls.

As This is Money tax expert Heather Rogers says, paying cash for a job is legal and shouldn’t get you into any trouble with your bank.

So how easy is it to withdraw £5,000 from your bank if you need a job or item paying cash?

This is Money asked five major banks and Nationwide Building Society what a customer would have to do to withdraw this amount in cash. This is what the banks said…


NatWest said: ‘For someone making this type of withdrawal, you will need to bring your debit card and have your PIN.

‘We advise a customer to give us 24 hours’ notice, to ensure we can fulfill the request and in particular if they want specific denominations, but this is not necessary.

“Colleagues in the branch may ask questions about the purpose of your cash withdrawal, but it is important to understand that this is to validate the withdrawal as genuine and protect customers from fraud and scams.”


Santander said: “There is no need to pre-order or phone in advance to withdraw this amount.”

‘The chip and PIN would be used to verify the customer, in addition to photo ID.

“We would also ask some additional questions about the reason for the cash to protect the customer and check for signs of scam or fraud.”

On a national scale

Nationwide said: “We will aim to offer cash withdrawals over £2,000 on the same day, but it depends on the amount of cash available in the branch.”

‘To avoid any inconvenience, we ask customers to give us full business days’ notice.

‘When they come to collect the money, they must present an identity document that proves their name and address.

“To keep our customers’ money safe and help protect them from scams, they may also be asked some questions about cash withdrawals.”


Barclays said: “Chip and pin is required at the branch counter to withdraw, but our advice to customers is to give 24 hours’ notice if the withdrawal exceeds £2,000.”

‘However, if there is sufficient cash available and the customer is verified according to the bank’s checks and verifications, the withdrawal will generally be made to the customer.

‘Regular identification and verification checks would be required to withdraw a sum of this amount, for example a form of photo identification, cleared funds, customer signature, etc.

“We would also check the reason for a large cash withdrawal and that the customer is happy and not subject to potential scam or duress.”


Lloyds Bank said: ‘Lloyds Bank customers can inform us before making large cash transactions or we can facilitate most requests on the day, provided they show the required identification (including the chip and PIN on their account card and a Photo identification).

“For larger transactions, we will always do additional checks and ask additional questions to protect our customers (for example, from fraud), but we cannot share specific details in case that would be useful to fraudsters.”


To withdraw £5,000 at a full-service branch or in cash, an HSBC customer would not normally need to call ahead, although it is recommended for larger sums to ensure the cash is available when needed.

At a banking center with a post office service, an HSBC customer could withdraw £5,000, even over several days.

To withdraw £5,000 at an ATM, an HSBC customer could request a temporary increase to withdraw larger amounts depending on the type of account they have (ranging from £1,000 to £2,000 per day).

HSBC may carry out additional checks if you withdraw this sum of money to protect customers from fraud, scams or financial crime.

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A bank customer’s experience trying to withdraw £5,000 in cash

I wanted to withdraw £5,000 for some yard work I wanted to do, says a This is Money reader who emailed me.

I went to the bank to get my money but they wouldn’t give it to me.

They insisted that I had to have an invoice, which I didn’t have.

They flatly refused to give me the money because they thought I might be a victim of fraud.

After several attempts at reasoning, they still refused. At that point I thought about closing my account and withdrawing the money that way.

The cashier replied, ‘It’s okay, it’s your money, you can do whatever you want with it.’ Obviously not.

The manager then offered me an alternative and told me he would set my card limit at £500 per transaction.

I wasted my time withdrawing the £5,000 in 10 days and risking 10 trips to the minibank.

The builder still received his £5,000, but I had to work for it.

Similar story: Do you find it difficult to withdraw large sums of cash from bank0? Get in touch: editor@thisismoney.co.uk

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