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Don’t let the bank holidays ruin your pay

Don’t let the bank holidays ruin your pay

Category: Money

Updated: 26/04/2011
First Published: 26/04/2011

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

People have been urged to check the timescales of bills, invoices and debts as the deluge of bank holidays plays havoc with the amount of time it will take for a cheque to clear.

With four bank holidays occurring in the space of two weeks, there are only five working days between Wednesday 20 April and Monday 2 May inclusive.

As a result, the Payments Council has advised consumers to check whether any of their up-and-coming payment commitments will be affected by all the days off.

Those people receiving payment in the form of a cheque have been reminded they have to wait up to four working days before the cheque funds can be withdrawn and until the end of the sixth working day after paying it in before the money is definitely theirs.

Therefore, if a cheque was paid in on Wednesday 20 April - depending on the timescales offered by the bank – the funds won't be able to be withdrawn until Thursday 28 April and the money won't definitely have changed hands until the end of Wednesday 4 May.

Meanwhile, people who usually pay a bill by cheque have been told to allow a sufficient number of working days for it to be sent in the post.

Anyone missing a payment deadline for a bill, invoice or debt could end up being penalised as a result.

"It is unusual to get so many bank holidays in such a short space of time so it makes sense to think about what bills and invoices you might be due to pay - and to consider if you have to make alternative arrangements for any of them," said Gary Hocking, acting chief executive of the Payments Council.

"With a wider range of payment options available to us than ever before, taking five minutes to check up on your ways to pay can help you make sure that you aren't affected."

The Payments Council points out cards and one-off phone or internet payments are not impacted by bank holidays.

Direct debits do not need to be altered either, as although they will not be processed on a bank holiday, accounts will be automatically debited on the nearest day to when the money is due, so deadlines will not be missed.

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