Canada’s banks to remain open on Sept. 19 as federal government plans holiday for Queen’s funeral

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Members of the public lay flowers and tributes in front of Windsor Castle on September 13, 2022.Neil P. Mockford/Getty Images

Banks of Canada will remain open on September 19 after the federal government declared a national day of mourning to mark Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.


According to the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA), banks will open for normal business on Monday, but there will be a period of silence in honor of the Queen.

“By keeping the banking system open, banks ensure continuous functioning of payroll, scheduled bill payments, child support and mortgage closures for workers,” the CBA said in a statement on Wednesday.

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On Tuesday, the country’s financial sector scrambled to decide how to respond to a federal holiday announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Banks had no warning about the decision to hold a day of mourning, and were concerned about the degree of coordination that would be needed between financial market operators, payment providers and financial institutions to close at short notice.

Monday will be a holiday for federal civil servants, and BC as well as all four Atlantic provinces will close government offices and schools for the day. Other major provinces such as Ontario and Quebec chose not to declare a public holiday.

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Labor Minister Seamus O’Regan clarified on Tuesday that federally-regulated companies such as banks and telecommunications companies were invited to mark the day, but were not required to celebrate it as a holiday or close their doors.

Stock markets, including the Toronto Stock Exchange, will remain open, and Payments Canada confirmed that its systems and operations will be up and running on Monday, which allows a wide range of financial transactions to be clarified and settled.

The Bank of Canada will postpone the auction of a 10-year government bond that was scheduled for Monday until September 22, but will maintain regular operations that support payment and settlement systems as well as financial markets.

Those decisions set the stage for banks to stay open as well. On Tuesday afternoon, the CBA sent an internal note to senior bankers, recommending that banks operate on “business as usual” on Monday.

Anticipating that financial markets will remain open, CBA CEO Anthony Ostler suggested in the note that “the risks of operating errors to the industry far outweigh the reputational risks with those left open.”

Professional advocacy groups including the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) and the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers urged provinces to observe the day, but did not make it a statutory holiday. He argued that such a holiday would result in reduced productivity or higher wage costs for businesses.

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