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“Is the bank open today?” Even in 2023, that can be an important question to ask if you need to cash a check or make another timely in-person transaction around a holiday.
The Federal Reserve, which regulates the nation’s banking system, observes 11 federal holidays each year that could affect the availability of your funds at your bank and delay any deposits you have made or plan to make. A federal holiday may also mean that your local branch is closed.
Thanksgiving is a Federal Reserve holiday. It’s recognized on Nov. 23 and your bank will likely be closed on this day. Your bank will likely be open, however, on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving).
A check deposited on a federal bank holiday may have its funds availability delayed and count toward the next business day. A federal bank holiday may also cause a bill payment to be late if the processing date falls on the holiday.
Here are the Federal Reserve System bank holidays for 2023-2024:
|Bank holidays 2023-2024||2023||2024|
*Nov. 11, 2023, is a Saturday. The Federal Reserve board of governors is closed Nov. 10, 2023.
**The board of governors is closed Jan. 2, 2023.
Note: The federal government refers to Presidents Day as Washington’s Birthday.
Source: Federal Reserve
|New Year’s Day||Jan. 1**||Jan. 1|
|Martin Luther King Jr. Day||Jan. 16||Jan. 15|
|Presidents Day||Feb. 20||Feb. 19|
|Memorial Day||May 29||May 27|
|Juneteenth National Independence Day||June 19||June 19|
|Independence Day||July 4||July 4|
|Labor Day||Sept. 4||Sept. 2|
|Columbus Day||Oct. 9||Oct. 14|
|Veterans Day||Nov. 11*||Nov. 11|
|Thanksgiving||Nov. 23||Nov. 28|
|Christmas||Dec. 25||Dec. 25|
Most banks close on federal holidays
Rose Oswald Poels started working at the Wisconsin Bankers Association more than 20 years ago. Back then, Oswald Poels, who is now the president and CEO of the group, says a lot of banks were open on holidays like the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., Columbus Day and Veterans Day.
“In today’s world, it’s very different,” Oswald Poels says.
More banks are choosing to close on Federal Reserve System holidays, such as Washington’s Birthday or Columbus Day. Oswald Poels says some banks may take advantage of closing on a weekday holiday to either conduct all-staff training or volunteer in the community.
Banks can open on a Federal Reserve bank holiday
A bank may choose to be open on a Federal Reserve holiday. Transactions are generally processed the same way they would be on a weekend.
For instance, if you sign documents to send a domestic wire transfer at your bank on a Saturday morning, that wire won’t be processed until Monday morning at the earliest, assuming Monday isn’t a Federal Reserve holiday. The same happens if you deposit a check in a bank (or online or at an ATM) on a holiday. If your bank is open on one of the Federal Reserve System holidays, the Fed is likely to reopen on the next business day. Automated clearing house network transactions also aren’t processed on a bank holiday or on a weekend.
The Fed, for example, is closed on the second Monday in October for Columbus Day. So, if you deposit a check into your bank account on the Saturday before the holiday, the earliest the check will be fully available will typically be Tuesday if the bank has same-day availability.
Customers at a bank without same-day availability won’t have their money available until Wednesday, Oswald Poels says.
Online accessibility on Federal Reserve bank holidays
Online access should be the same on a holiday as it would be on any other day or night, assuming the bank’s site isn’t down due to maintenance or another issue.
“If you do online banking, if you use remote deposit capture through your phone to make deposits, all of the technology functions still work,” Oswald Poels says. “So you can do those transactions. But the effect of what that means (on Fed holidays) is another story.”
Though you can deposit a check using a smartphone on one of these holidays, it’s likely the transaction won’t be processed until the next business day at the earliest.
You generally can also open a bank account online on a Federal Reserve System holiday, just like you can on a night or weekend, including checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts or CDs.
Other holidays and a new holiday
Banks are generally open on Black Friday, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, though it’s possible your bank may decide to close early on one of these days.
“Everything processes through the system normally on (these days) as well because the Fed is also open,” Oswald Poels says.
With the adoption of Juneteenth National Independence Day in 2021 on June 19, the Federal Reserve has added an additional bank holiday to its calendar. As with other federal holidays with a specific date, Juneteenth is celebrated the Friday before or the Monday after should June 19 fall on a Saturday or Sunday, respectively.
Bill pay around Federal Reserve holidays
It’s always best to pay bills a few days early. That way if a holiday or weekend is off your radar, the bill should get paid on time.
“If you have set up automatic bill pay from your account, hopefully most people arrange bill pays so that the date that the transaction is initiated is not literally the very last day that bill is due,” Oswald Poels says.
Automatic bill payments that fall on or near a Federal Reserve System holiday or on a weekend won’t be processed until the next business day.
“Make sure you leave yourself enough leeway from when the actual due date is to when you’ve initiated the bill pay request,” Oswald Poels says.