Last Updated: July 26, 2023
When people come into cash, they typically want to deposit it in a bank. But how much cash can you deposit in a bank UK residents use regularly? Our guide addresses this question, how the depositing process works, and what to do with large cash transactions authorities deem suspicious.
How to Deposit Cash in a UK Bank
To deposit cash, you must have a registered bank account in the UK. If you don’t already have a bank account, you can open one with the bank of your choice. Most banks offer the following types of accounts.
- Current account: This is a standard account used for receiving wages, paying bills, and shopping. These accounts are free or low-cost and come with a debit card.
- Basic account: How much cash can you deposit in a basic account? The sum is usually smaller than what you deposit in a current account. This account is typically offered to those with bad credit, granting access only to basic products and services.
- Savings account: Most banks offer accounts specialised for saving or investing. These accounts require regular deposits and have higher interest rates. If you have the cash to deposit, a savings account is an option you should consider.
Once you have a bank account registered in your name, you can deposit money in the following ways.
- Cash machine: So how much cash can I deposit at a UK cash machine? Though they vary from bank to bank, cash machines are suitable for depositing small sums of money—up to 30 notes at a time or cheques up to £2,000 per single transaction.
- Bank counter: If you wish to deposit a large sum of money, you must go to your local bank branch and deposit it in person. You must have a valid ID to confirm your identity, a paying-in slip, and an account number.
- Post office: In the UK, you can make deposits at the post office. So how much cash can I pay into my bank account at the post office? Large post office branches accept deposits up to £5,000, while concessions only accept smaller deposits, up to £1,000.
These are some ways you can deposit money into your bank account. The following section addresses how much you can conveniently deposit.
|DID YOU KNOW? The UK is considered a global financial centre, housing private UK banks and international ones. The Bank of England serves as the country’s central bank. Currently, 344 banks in the UK are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).|
How Much Cash Can You Deposit in a Bank UK?
Before depositing cash into a UK bank account, you should know that the FCA does not impose a specific limit on cash transactions. You can deposit as much as you like, as long as the bank doesn’t pay you interest on your money.
There are, however, specific bank regulations you must adhere to when depositing money. For example, you always need to provide proof of identity and, sometimes, disclose the source of the money you’re depositing.
How Much Money Can You Deposit in a Bank at One Time in the UK?
Since cash is a high-risk asset in financial crimes, the government’s Money Laundering Regulations require banks to ask for the source of any large payment. Depositing up to £5,000 per transaction, however, shouldn’t raise suspicion or entice a bank to conduct additional queries.
Other factors, however, impact the nature of your deposit, such as how long you’ve had the account, what type of account you have, whether you have a history of paying large sums, and whether you have (more or less) the average net worth according to your age.
How Much Cash Can I Deposit Into My Bank Account in the UK Regularly?
If you make regular large cash deposits, banks may become suspicious. If you’re self-employed, for example, and have a cash income of several thousand pounds daily or weekly and want to deposit it in your account, you need to let the bank know and report this influx of cash, as it’s taxable income.
How much cash can you pay into a bank with the money you’ve earned in investments? There aren’t any deposit limits, as long as the bank knows where the money comes from. High-value traders deal with tens of thousands of pounds, so they should report the source of their income. These people typically transfer money from one account to another, or they’re paying money from abroad.
|DID YOU KNOW? During the pandemic, cash payments dropped by 35% as more people turned to card payments. But cash transactions—the second most-used form of payment, following debit cards—still make up 17% of all payments.|
When Do Banks Report Large Deposits?
Cash deposits are subjected to additional requirements that don’t apply to cheques or other payments and transfers. So how much cash can I deposit without a red flag popping up?
All large cash deposits (above £6,500) can raise red flags. Even if you don’t make a single deposit of £6,500 but several smaller deposits into the account over a short period, the bank may see this as a part of the same transaction and regard it as suspicious activity.
In such cases, the bank can submit a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) department, accompanied by a currency transaction report (CTR).
How Much Cash Can You Deposit without Raising Suspicion in the UK?
Deposits below £5,000 shouldn’t raise any suspicion with the bank, even if you don’t state the source. But if you make multiple deposits in one day or hefty deposits in a week, suspicion will arise. Even if the deposits are smaller (e.g., £1,000 to £2,000) and made in several consecutive days, the bank will notice and file a CTR.
Money laundering rules have become stricter. Banks can report any deposit—regardless of the size—if they think the money was acquired through criminal activity. So how much can you deposit in a bank in the UK without being suspicious? The best course of action is to divide your cash into several smaller lumps and deposit it over an extended period.
|DID YOU KNOW? Banks impose cash withdrawal limits of £500 per day on cash machines, while the limit from a bank counter—without giving any previous notice—is £2,500.|
How to Spread Out a Large Sum Deposit
As previously noted, spreading out a lump of cash and depositing it in intervals is the best course of action. But how much money can you put in the bank at one time in the UK, and how often can you make deposits? Depositing up to £1,000 several times a month is the best way to deposit money to avoid having to disclose your unexplained wealth.
There are, however, other means to deposit your money. You can consider getting a credit card, paying for your purchases and making cash deposits towards your balance each month. You can also opt for a secured loan, spend the money as you see fit, and pay in cash when the monthly repayments come due. You could also use the money for expenses, let other income accumulate in your account, and then stop thinking: How much cash can I deposit in the bank?
|DID YOU KNOW? Debt can accumulate quickly and lead to bankruptcy. So it’s essential to keep a specific amount of money in your account and at home for emergencies.|
Your money needs to be kept safe, and the best way to do this is by depositing it in a bank. But how much cash can I deposit without being reported to the UK authorities? If you have a large sum of money to deposit, you shouldn’t deposit too much at once to avoid suspicion. Instead, make smaller, multiple deposits in suitable intervals.
Depositing £5,000 in a bank may trigger some checks. So it’s best to keep your deposits below this amount.
It’s not illegal to deposit a lot of cash, but banks may find it suspicious and start asking questions about the source of the funds. If they think it was illegally acquired, they must report you to the authorities.
How much cash can you deposit in a bank UK authorities accept as coming from a legitimate source? You can deposit as much money as you’d like, but we recommend making deposits of up to £1,000 several times a month to avoid red flags.