international bank holiday

Bank Holidays By Country: How to Avoid Payment Delays

Who doesn’t love a holiday? This question may seem a bit rhetorical, but it gets more interesting when you consider the impact bank holidays can have on domestic and international money transfers. Banks and other financial institutions tend to be closed on these days, which means that payments and transfers may be processed more slowly and delayed by one or several working days, depending on when the holiday falls. This becomes a more complicated issue to navigate if your company regularly sends and receives payments across borders, as bank holidays by country can vary and don’t always overlap.

In this guide, we’ll review what you need to know about bank holidays in order to effectively plan your payments around them. We’ll even show you how to set up any bank holidays you need to keep track of in your Google Calendar. While holidays may change annually depending on the country and calendar year, we’ll highlight some of the major overlapping bank holidays to be aware of, as well as other important bank holidays to keep an eye on.

What is a bank holiday?

When you think of the term “holiday,” you probably think of a day in which everyone gets a vacation and none of the shops are open. Bank holidays are a specific type of holiday—they refer to business days on which banks and other financial institutions are closed.

While it’s helpful to distinguish between bank holidays and other types of holidays, there tends to be a lot of overlap. Bank holidays typically fall on significant federal holidays, during which other places of work and business—schools, government offices, stock exchanges, etc.—also close. 

Since there’s no international organization that dictates when bank holidays occur in every country, individual countries set their own. This makes sense, as different countries have different cultural traditions and calendar days that matter within those traditions. But it can also lead to some confusion when it comes to transferring money across borders, as some transaction types may take up to several business days to process.

Why bank holidays matter for international money transfers

In the case of a domestic ACH transfer, a bank holiday will typically delay processing by a single business day. But in the case of international transfers, bank holidays that overlap or fall in close proximity to one another can delay cross-border payments by more time.

With careful planning, it’s not too difficult to mitigate or prepare for the challenges posed by bank holidays. It can be helpful to keep a calendar of the major bank holidays in the countries where you typically do business, and to reach out to any vendors or suppliers ahead of time to let them know that payments may be delayed.

While physical bank branches tend to be closed on bank holidays, online banking services are typically open. This can help you stay on top of your business even when most banks are closed. For example, while you usually can’t send an international wire transfer on a bank holiday, you can usually schedule for it to go out on the following day.

How to add regional bank holidays to Google Calendar

The best way to keep track of regional bank holidays is to use the built-in functionality provided by Google Calendar. With just a few clicks, you can add public holidays for any countries you do business in. This makes it easier to determine when bank holidays in different countries overlap, and plan your business transactions accordingly. 

Here’s how to add regional bank holidays in Google Calendar on desktop:

  1. Open Google Calendar
  2. In the left-hand menu labeled “Other calendars,” click the “+” icon and select “Browse calendars of interest.”
  3. You can browse holiday calendars by country in the section labeled “Regional holidays.” To add a calendar, click on the “Browse all” drop-down menu and select the holiday calendar you’d like to add. 

Note that you can add more than one holiday calendar, and you can choose whether each calendar will show only the public holidays (i.e. bank holidays) for that country or the public holidays and other holidays that may not be bank holidays. If you’re specifically concerned about tracking bank holidays, we recommend limiting your selection to public holidays.

You can also add or remove holiday calendars on Android or on iPhone and iPad.

U.S. bank holidays in 2022 and 2023

Below, we’ve provided a full list of the bank holiday schedule observed by the U.S. Federal Reserve System in 2022 and 2023. For holidays that fall on weekends, we’ve noted whether the holiday is not observed or observed on the following Monday. For an up-to-date resource on bank holidays in the U.S., you can reference the annual schedule published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago or the list of upcoming public holidays maintained by Public Holidays Global

Bank holiday

2022

2023

New Year’s Day

Saturday, January 1*

Sunday, January 1**

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Monday, January 17

Monday, January 16

Presidents Day

Monday, February 21

Monday, February 20

Memorial Day

Monday, May 30

Monday, May 29

Juneteenth

Sunday, June 19**

Monday, June 19

Independence Day

Monday, July 4

Tuesday, July 4

Labor Day

Monday, September 5

Monday, September 4

Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Monday, October 10

Monday, October 9

Veterans Day

Friday, November 11

Saturday, November 11*

Thanksgiving Day

Thursday, November 24

Thursday, November 23

Christmas Day

Sunday, December 25**

Monday, December 25

* Weekend holiday not observed as a bank holiday
** Weekend holiday observed as a bank holiday on the following Monday

U.S. bank holidays that overlap with other countries

While it’s nearly impossible to catalog a full list of the holidays that overlap between the U.S. and every other country in which your startup may do business, we’ve compiled a number of significant overlapping holidays below. 

These holidays can change or rotate on an annual basis, depending on the nature of the holiday. (Public holidays in Israel, for example, tend to move around the calendar quite a bit.) Before initiating a time-sensitive money transfer, it’s a good idea to double-check whether the banks in the sending or receiving countries may be subject to a bank holiday.

Though it’s difficult to find a single calendar that contains all the overlapping holidays of note, you can reference the database compiled and maintained by Public Holidays Global, which includes not only federal holidays but state and regional holidays, as well.

U.S. and U.K: Overlapping bank holidays

  • New Year’s Day (January 1). Note that the U.K. observes Monday, January 3 as a substitute day in 2022, while the U.S. does not. 
  • Christmas Day (December 25). Note that the U.K observes Tuesday, December 25 as a substitute day in 2022, while the U.S. observes Monday, December 26 as a substitute day in 2022. The U.K. also observes Monday, December 26 as a bank holiday (Boxing Day) in 2022. Both countries observe Monday, December 25 as the Christmas Day bank holiday in 2023.

U.S. and Canada: Overlapping bank holidays

  • New Year’s Day (January 1). Note that Canada observes Monday, January 3 as a substitute day in 2022, while the U.S. does not.
  • Presidents Day/Family Day (February 21, 2022)
  • Labor Day (September 5, 2022)
  • Columbus Day/Thanksgiving Day (October 10, 2022)
  • Veterans Day/Remembrance Day (November 11, 2022)
  • Christmas Day (December 25). Note that Canada also observes Tuesday, December 26 as a bank holiday (Boxing Day) in 2022.

While not overlapping, note that Canada Day (July 1) often falls in close proximity to Independence Day in the United States (July 4).

U.S. and Israel: Overlapping bank holidays 

  • First Day of Sukkot/Columbus Day (October 10). This holiday overlaps in 2022 and may overlap in subsequent years.

Jewish holidays may overlap with U.S. bank holidays in some years and not others. For example, Yom Kippur will be observed on Friday, October 11 in 2024—putting it on the other side of the weekend from Columbus Day in the U.S. (Monday, October 14) and potentially causing payment delays of several days. 

U.S. and Germany: Overlapping bank holidays

  • New Year’s Day (January 1)
  • Christmas Day (December 25). Note that Germany also observes the second day of Christmas (December 26) as a public holiday, which may lead to additional payment and transfer delays.

Other pan-German holidays to keep in mind include Ascension Day and Whitmonday, either of which may overlap or fall in close proximity to Memorial Day in certain years.

U.S. and China: Overlapping bank holidays

  • New Year’s Day (January 1). Note that China observes Monday, January 3 as a substitute day in 2022, while the U.S. does not. 

While the Chinese National Day bank holiday (Saturday, October 1–Friday, October 7) does not overlap with any U.S. bank holidays, it does immediately precede Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples’ Day (Monday, October 10) in 2022. This may lead to delayed international payments, depending on when the payment arrives and is processed. The Chinese government has not yet released the full list of holidays for 2023.  

Other holidays to keep in mind

The U.S. does not observe certain holidays that are observed by several or many other countries throughout the world. It’s important to keep these holidays in mind when planning international payments and transfers. They include:

  • Good Friday and Easter Monday (April)
  • International Workers’ Day/Labour Day/May Day (May 1)
  • Boxing Day (December 26, immediately following Christmas Day)

International payments made easy with Levro

We built Levro for businesses with globally distributed teams, so we know the pain points that can arise when payments don’t arrive on time due to holidays and other types of delays. That’s why we provide up-to-date alerts and notifications for your most important payments with Levro’s SWIFT tracking. You’ll never have to wonder where your payments are or when they’ll reach their intended recipient, as you’ll receive regular updates on the location, status, and exceptions for each global payment.

Ready to get started? Apply for a multi-currency bank account today, or send an email to hello@levro.com to learn how Levro can help your business.

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