No Bank Holiday

April 01, 1994|By John A. Morris

For the first time in more than 37 years, all Maryland banks may be open on this Good Friday.

Until this year, state-chartered banks had been prohibited from opening on the religious holiday. The prohibition placed them at a competitive disadvantage with federally chartered banks and thrifts, which observe federal holidays, said John Bowers, executive vice president of the Maryland Bankers Association. Good Friday is not a federal holiday.

Thanks to state lawmakers, who removed the prohibition last year, the 71 state-chartered banks have an option this year.

"We have been out of step [with national and other states' banks]," said State Bank Commissioner Margie H. Muller. "Banks generally adhere to federal holidays. That's why Good Friday was a problem. There aren't many other states that take it off."

However, customers should not be surprised if their bank is closed today.

"I honestly can't tell you which ones will be open and which will be closed," Ms. Muller said. "I think a lot of banks will be closed. The tradition has been to close."

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