Normally when you hear about public holidays in other countries you don’t pay too much attention, why should you? In the ‘old days’ of national clearing systems your euro currency payments and direct debit collections were processed according to your national work days and you knew exactly when there was a national public holiday. With SEPA however, the SEPA countries must pay attention to the TARGET2 public holidays / closing days and understand that these are essentially ‘SEPA holidays’.
What is a SEPA Holiday?
SEPA holidays are typically continental European public holidays during which the European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Clearing House are closed (see dates below). This means that even if these are not public holidays in your country that your SEPA payments and direct debit collections will not be processed on these particular dates.
What if I want to make a SEPA payment on a SEPA Bank Holiday?
You will have to avoid submitting SEPA payments for execution date or value date equal to a SEPA holiday! Any payments will have to be made in advance or the bank will typically roll the date forward to the next processing day. It is important to know that if it is not a public holiday in your country (for example Ireland) during these SEPA bank holidays, interbank transactions cannot take place. This means that Bank A (Bank of Ireland for example) cannot pay Bank B (Ulster Bank). But Bank A (Bank of Ireland) can pay another Bank A (Bank of Ireland) account.
What is the impact if forget or don’t know about the SEPA Holidays?
Remember what happened last year in Ireland. Despite an awareness campaign by the Irish Payment Services Organisation (IPSO), many were still left unaware of the impact of the SEPA 1st May (2014) holiday. This in turn resulted in many, 300,000 missed banking transactions according to Mick O’Neill of the IPSO, SEPA payments and direct debit collections being delayed. More importantly a number of these were payroll / salary payments which is clearly regrettable. The lack of public awareness, combined with a very bad personal experience of not being paid on time unfortunately portrays the whole SEPA project in a very negative manner.
What are the SEPA Holiday dates?
Reference: ECB public holidays and TARGET closing days
- *New Year’s Day – 01/01/2015
- *Good Friday – 03/04/2015
- *Easter Monday – 06/04/2015
- *Labour Day – 01/05/2015
- Anniversary of Robert Schuman’s Declaration – 09/05/2015
- Ascension Day – 14/05/2015
- Whit Monday – 25/05/2015
- Corpus Christi – 04/06/2015
- Day of German Unity – 03/10/2015
- All Saints’ Day – 01/11/2015
- Christmas Eve – 24/12/2015
- *Christmas Day – 25/12/2015
- *Christmas Holiday – 26/12/2015
- New Year’s Eve – 31/12/2015
- *New Year’s Day – 01/01/2016
- *Good Friday – 25/03/2016
- *Easter Monday – 28/03/2016
- *Labour Day – 01/05/2016
- Anniversary of Robert Schuman’s Declaration – 09/05/2016
- Ascension Day – 05/05/2016
- Whit Monday – 16/05/2016
- Corpus Christi – 26/05/2016
- Day of German Unity – 03/10/2016
- All Saints’ Day – 01/11/2016
- Christmas Eve – 24/12/2016
- *Christmas Day – 25/12/2016
- *Christmas Holiday – 26/12/2016
- New Year’s Eve – 31/12/2016
* TARGET closing day
If you’re unsure about any of these SEPA Holidays, get in touch with your bank! [EPSB]Thanks for stopping by – Take a look around!! [/EPSB] Change is never easy, but knowing that these are the early days of SEPA, we must look to the SEPA authorities (European wide and national) to step up and spread awareness to ensure that such experiences are not repeated. Sharing the impact of a SEPA holiday should not happen 1 week before, in my opinion it should happen 3 weeks before the event. This gives people plenty of time to understand the message and react to it. This will help avoid situations such as the fiasco in Ireland last year.