how many hours do bankers work?
what are bankers' hours? The most accurate answer is "elusive."
The Oxford English Dictionary doesn't list it. Neither
The Dictionary of American English has it but hedges
its bet, defining the phrase as: "The hours during which a
bank is open to transact business." Duh.
The American Heritage Dictionary of English Usage
offers a blissfully succinct definition: "A short working day."
Indeed. But how short is short? 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.?
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.? And what are the bankers doing the rest of the
time? Playing poker?
Traditionally, bankers fill out their day by first
preparing to meet the public and counting up after the doors close.
Since at least some of that now is handled electronically, banks
are able to extend their hours, if only at the drive-through window.
So, what are bankers' hours today? That depends on where you're
London: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Smaller towns
close at 3 p.m.
Paris: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Some close at lunch; some remain
open until 7 p.m.
Hong Kong: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on
Mexico City: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Calcutta, India: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Sydney, Australia: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday;
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays.
But as any traveler knows, the true definition of
bankers' hours is 15 minutes shorter than you thought they were.
Jay MacDonald is a contributing editor
based in Florida.
-- Posted: May 8, 2002