Few things are more frustrating than wanting to deposit a check, make a withdrawal or make a same-day online bill payment and then finding out that the bank is closed for a holiday.
The Federal Reserve bank observes 10 holidays each year. Most banks and credit unions will generally follow suit.
While not every bank observes all of these holidays, here is a handy schedule of holidays observed by most banks (including the Federal Reserve Bank) in the United States for 2021.
As a general rule, when a bank holiday falls on a Saturday, it is observed on Friday.
When a bank holiday falls on a Sunday, it is observed on the following Monday.
2021 Bank Holidays:
|January 1, 2021||New Year’s Day||Friday|
|January 20, 2021||Inauguration Day*||Monday|
|January 20, 2021||Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday||Monday|
|February 15, 2021||Washington’s Birthday/President’s Day||Monday|
|May 31, 2021||Memorial Day||Monday|
|July 4, 2021||Independence Day||Sunday|
|September 6, 2021||Labor Day||Monday|
|October 11, 2021||Columbus Day||Monday|
|November 11, 2021||Veterans Day||Thursday|
|November 25, 2021||Thanksgiving Day||Thursday|
|December 25, 2021||Christmas Day||Saturday|
* In 2021, some banks may observe January 20th, Inauguration Day, as an eleventh bank holiday for the year. Inauguration Day, a holiday every four years designated by Congress, is generally only recognized as a holiday by government employees and certain businesses in Washington, D.C. and its border counties in Virginia and Maryland. By designating the day as a holiday, congestion is eased for the swearing-in of a new president and vice-president.
What about years other than 2021?
You can use the handy chart below to figure out when the bank holidays are for any given year. New Year’s Day, Inauguration Day, Independence Day, Veterans Day, and Christmas Day all land every year on the same date. The dates for the other holidays, MLK Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, and Thanksgiving, vary depending on the year.
|New Year’s Day||Always Jan 1st|
|Inauguration Day||Always Jan 20th|
|Martin Luther King, Jr. Day||3rd Monday in Jan|
|Presidents Day||3rd Monday in Feb|
|Memorial Day||Last Monday in May|
|Independence Day||July 4th|
|Labor Day||1st Monday in Sept|
|Columbus Day||2nd Monday in Oct|
|Veterans Day||Always Nov 11th|
|Thanksgiving Day||4th Thurs in Nov|
|Christmas Day||Always Dec 25th|
If a bank holiday falls on a weekend, when is it observed?
As a general rule, when a holiday falls on a Sunday, it is observed the following Monday. In 2021, Independence Day (4th of July) lands on a Sunday, so it will be observed on Monday, July 5th, 2021.
When a bank holiday falls on a Saturday, it is observed on the previous Friday. In 2021 for example, Christmas Day takes place on Saturday, December 25th and is observed on Friday, December 24th, 2021.
Banks won’t necessarily be closed on these observed holidays, as there is no federal law requiring them to close. Federally chartered banks, however, will usually be closed on these observed dates.
Why do banks observe these holidays?
Federal Reserve Bank holidays mirror the schedule of federal holidays enacted by Congress. Generally, these holidays are days when various sectors of the U.S. population celebrate history, religion, and culture.
While they apply to the Federal Reserve Bank, there are no federally mandated holidays for the private banking sector. Some states require banks and other businesses to be closed on certain holidays.
Which banks observe these holidays?
All national and regional banks are closed on these federal bank holidays. This holds true for all the major financial service corporations, investment banks, and lenders, including Capital One, PNC, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, CitiBank, Chase, and Barclays.
What banking can I still do on a bank holiday?
On bank holidays when the banks are closed, you will not be able to deposit or withdraw funds by visiting a teller at the branch. This means you will also not be able to buy a cashier’s check or money order or take a credit card advance through the teller. You will also usually not be able to talk to a live phone banker or pay bills with the same effective date as the holiday.
The good news is that, even if a bank is officially closed for a holiday, you should still be able to access information including your balance and recent transactions online through your bank’s website. Most banks now also offer mobile applications, so if you have downloaded and installed the bank’s app on your smartphone or tablet, you can do these same things on the go. If your current bank does not offer online or mobile banking, it might be a good idea to open a new savings account with a bank that does.
While you cannot visit a teller or phone banker, you should still be able to access funds or deposit checks through ATMs, deposit checks through mobile devices, schedule bill payments and access things like statements and copies of checks through your bank’s website or app.
Plan ahead to avoid disruptions
So, while bank holidays mean the bankers and tellers are not working, it may not mean much to the way you manage your account. Whenever you can, try to plan ahead so that any business you need to conduct with your bank takes bank holidays into account. That way, you can sit back, relax and enjoy the holiday along with your local bankers.