The Federal Reserve, which regulates the nation’s banking system, observes 10 federal bank holidays each year that could impact the availability of your funds at your bank and delay any deposits you have made or plan to make.
Columbus Day, observed on the second Monday in October, is among the annual holidays the Fed observes.
Depositing a check on a Fed holiday could cause your funds availability to be delayed — with the deposit counting toward the next business day.
A bank holiday may also cause a bill payment to be late if the processing date is on a Fed holiday.
A federal bank holiday may also mean that your local branch is closed.
Here are the Federal Reserve System bank holidays from 2021-2023:
|Federal Reserve bank holidays||2021||2022||2023|
|New Year’s Day||Jan. 1||Jan. 1*||Jan. 1**|
|Martin Luther King Jr. Day||Jan. 18||Jan. 17||Jan. 16|
|Presidents Day||Feb. 15||Feb. 21||Feb. 20|
|Memorial Day||May 31||May 30||May 29|
|Independence Day||July 4**||July 4||July 4|
|Labor Day||Sept. 6||Sept. 5||Sept. 4|
|Columbus Day||Oct. 11||Oct. 10||Oct. 9|
|Veterans Day||Nov. 11||Nov. 11||Nov. 11*|
|Thanksgiving||Nov. 25||Nov. 24||Nov. 23|
|Christmas||Dec. 25*||Dec. 25**||Dec. 25|
*The Board of Governors is closed on Dec. 24, 2021, Dec. 31, 2021 and Nov. 10, 2023.
** The Board of Governors is closed on July 5, 2021, Dec. 26, 2022 and Jan. 2, 2023.
Source: Federal Reserve
Most banks close on bank 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 will generally process the same way they would on a weekend.
For instance, if you sign the 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 (ACH) Network transactions also aren’t processed on a bank holiday or on a weekend.
The Fed 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 this holiday, the earliest this check will be fully available will typically be on 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. Of course, this is 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.”
While you can mobile-deposit a check on one of these holidays, it’s likely that the transaction will not process 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. That includes checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts or CDs.
Other holidays and near-holidays
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.
Good Friday is another day when the Federal Reserve is open and banks usually are too. This holiday gets a little confusing because it’s a day when the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is closed. Columbus Day is the opposite since the NYSE is open and the Federal Reserve System is closed.
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 around a Federal Reserve System holiday or on a weekend won’t process 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.