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May bank holiday: Are banks open today?

Lloyds, Barclays, Natwest and HSBC branches (Picture: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The early May bank holiday is on Monday, May 3 – with the late May bank holiday (Monday, May 31) just a few weeks away.

Hopefully, we’ll be out enjoying these rare days off – but some of us may need to catch up on life admin. Ironically, given that it’s a bank holiday, we might actually need the free day to sort our finances.

Banks, like most supermarkets, post offices and other commercial institutions, are subject to having their opening hours changed when it comes to bank and public holidays.

Here’s everything you need to know…

Are banks open on bank holidays?

No, banks are usually completely closed on bank holiday days.

Banks in the UK have been closing for several weekdays scattered across the year since the late 1800s.

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Can you pop into your nearest bank branch on Monday? (Picture: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

In the Bank Holidays Act of 1871, four extra days off were created in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – with a fifth earmarked for Scotland.

Two in May – for early and late spring – and one in August, plus Good Friday, a holy day for Christians.

Apparently, they were called ‘bank’ holidays rather than general or public holidays to encourage other shops and establishments to take a day off.

Banks opening hours for early May bank holiday

Metro Bank

Metro Bank is the only of the UK’s banks to remain open on the early May bank holiday.

On May 3, you can pop into your nearest Metro Bank anytime from 11am to 5pm.

A lady walks pass Metro Bank in London. Latest Covid-19...

Metro Bank (Picture: May James/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

On top of that, Metro Bank is open seven days a week, with branches only closing on Easter Sunday, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

HSBC, Barclays and more

Unfortunately, all HSBC branches will be closed for the May bank holiday.

Barclays, Halifax, Lloyds, Santander and TSB will be completely closed for the day, too.

Natwest/Royal Bank of Scotland customers don’t have much luck, either – as all branches will be shut for the bank holiday.

All banks should reopen at their normal Tuesday times – which differ depending on which branch you visit.

Keep in mind that your bank may still be running on shorter hours, due to the pandemic.


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Full list of bank holidays in 2022, plus the bonus extra date


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