You had a bad nights sleep.
You dreamt of closing banks and burning notes, falling from a dark sky. After a morning freakout, you head to the bank.
Aim of the day, get all the money you own, cash, and hide it under your bed. It's the safest option.
Available balance, £16,000. You request the account be cleaned out, you're stunned when you are told that you can have £2,000 today, max. Panic.
Let's say we're being less dramatic. You're moving house. Rent is £1,400 a month with a £1,000 deposit, cash. Reasonable enough, right? Now dependent on who you choose to keep your money safe, that may not be possible; not today anyway.
Over the past few years finances have moved away from cash payments and much closer to online transfers. After all it's safer, who wants to be walking around with bundles of cash? Some question why it's even still in use.
I'm going to go through the largest banks in the UK and highlight how easy it is to get your balance in hand, same day. For this, I will be using the 'Where's my money b*tch' metric, designed and created by Matthew Low. Scored out of 5, the higher the better.
We'll start with the worst...
The building society allows you to take out £2,000 a day at the bank and £500 a day from ATM withdrawals on top of that. That's not to say that the money isn't there, all customers can pre-book their money to be delivered to their chosen bank but don't give any time estimate on how long this may take. WMMB - 1/5
2.5 times Nationwide, they also support a limit coming in at £5,000 a day. This is better but if we're going off the obvious principle that the money is owned by the account holder, we'd expect better.
WMMB - 2/5
Lloyds and Barclays
Both coming in at a respective WMMB score of 3, neither have a set limit on bank withdrawals! They make it known that large amounts may see delays but as long as you aren't picky on the denomination, they'll do their best to meet your needs. As a side note, Lloyds do ask for ID. I know right, lame.
No limit but stress that larger banks will hold more funds. Call ahead for crazy big amounts or just head to a city centre bank rather than your local.
WMMB - 4/5
The Winner! No limits, at all, and have high confidence they'll be able to meet your requirements in full, whatever denomination you desire. If you've got the balance, they've got the cash. Top marks with a WMMB score of 5/5.
Now professionals think the reasons for all these limits fall on the banks responsibilities to combat money laundering, scams and cons. Especially for a bank with an older client base, scams are common. You can sympathise with the effort to keep their customers safe.
But the principle still stands, your money is, well, your money. It's understandable that banks don't want to keep larger amounts on site but arguably, a stronger effort should be made to meet the requirements of the cash in hand market still very much alive in the UK.