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How long do BACS payments take on bank holidays?

Have you ever had to wait for a payment to go through over a bank holiday and experienced delays? This can be because of processing and submission deadlines for payments.

If you’ve ever suffered from a bank holiday payment delay, continue reading our helpful guide to avoid it in future.


What is a BACS payment?

There are two main BACS payment types: Direct Debit and Direct Credit. The former is a regular payment taken from a customer’s bank account, while the latter is referred to as a ‘bank transfer’, which is essentially when one party deposits money from their account into another.

All of the major UK banks - HSBC, Lloyds, Natwest, Barclays, Bank of England to name but a few - participate in the BACS payment scheme.


How long do BACS payments take, though?

Well, a BACS payment typically takes three working days to go through. First, a payment is submitted to the BACS system, then the payment is processed by the bank. Finally, the funds are transferred via Direct Debit or Direct Credit to the intended recipient. The BACS system runs from 7am to 10.30pm on weekdays, and the payment normally arrives very early on the third working day.

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Are payments delayed on bank holidays?

Due to BACS payments only processing on working days, there does tend to be a delay over bank holidays. Direct Debits and Direct Credit payments do not come out of bank accounts at weekends or on bank holidays, as they’re not classed as working days. If a Direct Debit payment date falls on a bank holiday or weekend, the payment is taken on the next working day.

However, with careful planning, you can dodge the delays by sending payments earlier.


Bacs processing dates for 2022

Bacs have released their processing dates for all of 2022’s bank holidays, giving you plenty of time to plan ahead and ensure that payments are not delayed for you, your customers, or your business partners.

There’s an extra bank holiday in June this year due to the Queen’s platinum jubilee. The spring bank holiday has been moved to Thursday 2nd June, and is followed by an extra bank holiday on Friday 3rd June, producing quite a delay for payments. Anything submitted after the 1st will not be completed until the 6th at the earliest.

There’s also an additional bank holiday in September following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, ending her 70-year reign. Her funeral will take place on Monday September 19th.

Christmas this year falls on a Sunday, which produces a litany of problems for the payments industry. Friday 23rd December is the last available date for payments to be completed until Wednesday 28th, and possibly even the 29th. The latest possible submission date for payments to arrive before Christmas is Wednesday 21st December, so plan ahead now.


Queen’s Funeral

Unfortunately, Queen Elizabeth II passed away in September, warranting an extra bank holiday for her funeral. This takes place on Monday September 19th, which obviously brings change to Bacs payment and submission dates.

Due to the new bank holiday, to ensure a payment goes through in time, it must be submitted by Wednesday 14th. It will be processed on Thursday 15th and completed on Friday 16th. Any later and you would have to wait until Tuesday 20th for funds to be cleared.

Any facilities management customers must submit theirs earlier. To have funds cleared by Friday 16th, a credit will have to have been submitted on Friday 9th September. From Monday 12th, any credit submissions will be cleared from Tuesday 20th onwards.

Bacs payments on bank holidays


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