How simple is it to take out a lump sum of money from YOUR financial institution?

  • We asked the UK’s biggest banks what customers need to do to withdraw £5k 

In recent years, bank customers have found it harder to withdraw large sums of their own money over the counter at banks to use for the likes of building work or buying a used car.

This is due to banks ramping up their anti-money laundering and saying they are trying to keep customers safe from fraud attempts. 

Some customers find themselves being asked for proof of an invoice in order to withdraw cash for building works while others are point blank denied access to their own money by their bank. 

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

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

As This is Money’s tax expert Heather Rogers says, paying for a job cash-in-hand is legal and should not get you into any trouble with your bank

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

This is Money asked five major high street banks and Nationwide Building Society what a customer would need to do to withdraw this amount in cash. Here’s what the banks said…


NatWest said: ‘For someone making this kind of withdrawal, they’d need to bring their debit card and have their Pin.

‘We’d advise a customer giving us 24 hours notice, to ensure that we can fulfil the request and particularly if they want specific denominations, but they don’t have to.

‘Colleagues in the branch may ask questions about the purpose of their cash withdrawal, but it’s important to understand that this is in order to validate the withdrawal as genuine and protect customers against fraud and scams.’


Santander said: ‘There is no need to preorder or phone ahead for a withdrawal of this amount.

‘Chip and Pin would be used to verify the customer, in addition to photo ID.

‘We would also ask some additional questions on the reason for the cash in order to protect the customer and check there was no suggestion of a scam or fraud.’


Nationwide said: ‘We will try to offer cash withdrawals of over £2,000 on the same day, but it does depend on the amount of cash available in branch. 

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

‘When they come to collect the money, they will need to bring ID to prove their name and address. 

‘To keep our customer money safe and to help protect them from scams, they may also be asked a few questions about the cash withdrawal.’


Barclays said: ‘Chip and pin at the counter in branch is required to withdraw but our guidance to customers is to provide 24 hours’ notice if the withdrawal is above £2,000.

‘However, if sufficient cash is available and the customer is verified as per the bank’s controls and checks, the withdrawal will usually be fulfilled to the customer.

‘Usual checks of ID and verification would be needed to withdraw a sum of this amount e.g. a form of photo ID, cleared funds, customer signature etc.

‘We’d also check the reason for a large cash withdrawal and that the customer is happy and not subject to a potential scam or under duress.’


Lloyds Bank said: ‘Lloyds Bank customers can let us know ahead of making a large cash transactions or we can facilitate most requests on the day, providing required identification is shown (including chip and pin on their account card and photo ID). 

‘For larger transactions we’ll always do extra checks and ask additional questions to protect our customers (e.g. from fraud) but we cannot share specific details in case that’s useful to fraudsters.’


To take out £5,000 in a full or cash service branch a HSBC customer normally would not need to call ahead, though it is recommended for larger sums to ensure the cash is available when they need it. 

At a Banking Hub with Post Office service, a HSBC customer would be able to withdraw £5,000 albeit over several days.

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

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

A bank customer’s experience of trying to take £5,000 cash out

I wanted to withdraw £5,000 for a patio job I wanted doing, says one This is Money reader who emailed in. 

I went to the bank to draw out my money but they would not give it to me. 

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

They refused hands down to give me the money as they thought I may be the victim of fraud.

After several attempts at reasoning, they still refused. At this point I thought to close down my account and withdraw the money that way.  

The teller replied: ‘Okay, it’s your money you can do what you want with it.’ Obviously not.

The manager then offered me an alternative, she said she would put my card limit up to £500 a transaction. 

I wasted my time drawing out the £5,000 over 10 days and putting myself at risk doing the 10 runs to the mini bank.  

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

Similar tale, finding it hard to withdraw large sums of cash from the bank? Get in touch: [email protected]