Today (October 12) is Columbus / Indigenous Peoples’ Day, which is a federal holiday in the U.S. While some are taking the day off—employer depending—some will be working as normal, but will this include banks and the financial stock exchange?
The national holiday works two-fold depending on which state of the country you’re in. Some celebrate Columbus Day as the day the explorer Christoper Columbus arrived in the Americas. According to Smithsonian Magazine, the first observance of Columbus Day in the U.S. actually took place 300 years after Columbus made landfall in the country.
The annual celebration then took place from 1869 in the Italian-American community in San Francisco and in 1934, the, then, U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared the first national observance. Three years later, Roosevelt made it a national holiday and in 1972 President Richard Nixon signed a proclamation to make the official date the second Monday in October.
However, because of the colonial history which started with Columbus, some Americans and people in the western world celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead, which honors Native Americans. According to Pew Research, 12 states plus District of Columbia have renamed Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
But regardless of which one people celebrate, the holiday remains a federal holiday and affects institutions such as banks. Only 21 states (as well as American Samoa and Puerto Rico) pay workers on the holiday, says the Council of State Governments’.
As a rule, banks and financial organizations close for federal holidays aligning with the Federal Reserve. For example, the Bank of America will close for Columbus Day to observe the holiday. Its website explains that its financial centers will close. ATMs should still be operational.
JP Morgan and Chase Bank will also be closed for Columbus Day, according to its holiday schedule. Wells Fargo is also closed for the federal holiday as is Citigroup. The Bank of the West closes for all federal holidays, deposits needing to be made on Tuesday onwards.
BMO Harris Bank, SunTrust and HSBC USA are not open on this national holiday. Comerica Bank also doesn’t operate on federal holidays as they do not count them as business days.
When it comes to the stock markets things are different. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) operates on Columbus Day as does NASDAQ. SIMFA, the voice for the U.S. securities industry, recommends its members observe Columbus Day.
Usually, Columbus Day and Veterans Day are federal holidays where stock markets still trade.