As technology continues to evolve and shape the economy worldwide, one of the ways that it has transformed business is by using automation to keep doors open 24/7. However, while online/mobile banking is one of the most tech-friendly sectors, banking has not adopted an around-the-clock schedule.
Why exactly are banks closed on Sundays in the U.S.?
Banks are closed on Sunday for three main reasons: to make business operations more profitable, to give employees a day off, and to observe religious traditions.
Despite most banks being closed on Sunday, technology is making it possible for select branches to stay open during limited hours. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about bank closures on Sunday.
3 Reasons Why Banks Closed on Sunday
There are several main reasons why banks close on Sunday: to make business operations more profitable, to give employees a day off, and to observe religious traditions.
Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail.
1. Banks Close on Sunday to Make Business Operations More Profitable
Banks are a business, and decisions in the business world are almost always fueled by dollars and cents.
Keeping the bank open on Sunday involves additional cost to the business. Higher utility bills, greater custodial costs, more wages to hourly employees, heightened security, increased insurance premiums and the list goes on.
Based on these added costs, most banks find that keeping their doors open on Sunday will come at a huge additional cost.
But it seems like Sunday is the only day of the week that I have time to go to the bank! Wouldn’t a bank do a ton of business if it stayed open on Sunday?
For many retail (think individuals or regular people) account holders, Sunday is an ideal time to go to the bank.
However, retail accounts are far from the only service offered by banks.
Consider that roughly 25% of all revenue generated by Wells Fargo comes from commercial accounts. And this is generally very profitable revenue, such as high-interest business loans, corporate credit lines, or automotive financing.
As most businesses only operate Monday through Friday, keeping the bank open on Sunday doesn’t make much sense, as the vast majority of its customers would only be less lucrative retail account holders.
Finally, many large banks also provide investment products. For example, roughly 10% of JP Morgan’s revenue comes from investment securities.
Since the stock market is closed on the weekend, this is another chunk of the revenue pie that banks can’t access if their doors are open on Sunday.
2. Banks Close on Sunday to Give Employees a Day Off
Giving employees a day off helps save the bank some money through lower wages.
However, even for salaried employees, time off is critical for running a successful business.
More than ever in the world of remote and hybrid work, employees value a healthy work/life balance. They do not want to feel imprisoned by their job. Many HR departments are discovering that time off is one of the most important aspects of ensuring employee wellness.
As Sunday is a traditional off day for most businesses, it would be exceptionally difficult to find a happy, motivated team to operate branch locations.
3. Banks Close on Sunday to Observe Religious Traditions
Numerous studies show that the U.S. is becoming less religious. Sunday church services are less of a priority for people in 2022 than they were a century ago.
However, while more and more people may not be skipping a bank visit to go to church, there are still millions of people to whom Sunday is a sacred day.
And at the end of the day, religion was at the heart of many of the founding principles of the United States. As such, breaking from the tradition of reserving Sunday for religious purposes is usually seen as “un-American.”
This is not a label many businesses want to be tagged with, even if the people crying “un-American” aren’t actually practicing the tradition themselves. Go figure.
Do Any Banks Stay Open on Sunday?
As banking becomes increasingly digital, it is possible for banks to operate branches with limited staff. This makes the business logistics of staying open on Sundays a bit more manageable.
With this in mind, it is becoming more common to see some banks open on Sunday.
However, be aware that even if a bank is “open” on Sunday, it will usually have very limited hours (usually between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM) and only offer limited services.
Availability will also vary widely by location. A Bank of America that is open on Sunday in New York City does not mean that all Bank of America branches will be open across the country. Therefore, it is important to do your research for local availability.
For example, for those in the Tri-State area, the following is a look at some banks that offer hours on Sunday:
- Bank of America (select locations)
- Chase (select NYC branches and the Lakewood, NJ branch)
- East West Bank (most branches)
- Fifth Third Bank (Kroger supermarket locations)
- Huntington Bank (Giant Eagle grocery store and pharmacy locations)
Do Banks In Other Countries Close on Sundays?
Nearly every country closes its banks on Sunday. Some do so for religious observance, others to adhere to work week mandates issued by the government.
However, it is important to keep time differences in mind in regards to international banking.
What is Sunday in the United States is not necessarily Sunday in all parts of the world, so if you have international accounts, it may be possible to access them even if your local bank is closed.
Is Online Banking Available on Sunday?
Many people bank completely online in 2022.
While you can perform the nuts and bolts of banking – such as filling out forms, depositing checks, transferring money, paying creditors, even opening new accounts – online on Sunday, be aware that the transactions are not official and will not process until the bank opens on Monday, at the earliest.
Final Thoughts: Why Banks Close on Sunday
Banks close on Sunday for three main reasons: to protect business profits, to give employees a day off, and to observe religious traditions.
However, technological advances are making it possible for some branches to offer limited hours on Sunday for certain types of services.
S if you have a pressing need to access a bank on Sunday, be sure to check your local listings to find the nearest branch with Sunday hours!