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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 24-A
Closing of banking organizations on Saturday; Sunday, public holiday or Saturday afternoon banking transactions; emergency bank holidays
General Construction (GCN) CHAPTER 22, ARTICLE 2
§ 24-a. Closing of banking organizations on Saturday; Sunday, public
holiday or Saturday afternoon banking transactions; emergency bank
holidays. 1. Any banking organization lawfully doing business within the
state of New York may be closed on any one or more Saturdays upon the
adoption of a resolution to such effect by a majority vote of the board
of directors or the board of trustees thereof or of the partners in the
case of a private banker. Any one or more of such Saturdays shall, with
respect to any such banking organization which shall be closed thereon
in accordance with the provisions of this subdivision, constitute a
public holiday within the meaning of such term as used in and for all
purposes of section twenty-five and twenty-five-a of this chapter (but
not, in the case of negotiable instruments, for the purposes of
subdivision two of section twenty-five thereof), and shall neither be a
"full business day" nor a banking day within the meaning of such terms
as used in and for all purposes of the uniform commercial code. The term
"banking organization", as used in this section (except where otherwise
defined therein), shall mean any banking organization as defined in the
banking law, any branch or agency of a foreign banking corporation, any
national bank, federal reserve bank, federal savings and loan
association, federal savings bank, federal home loan bank or federal
credit union, and any person or association of persons lawfully carrying
on the business of banking in this state whether incorporated or not. As
used in this section (except where otherwise defined therein), the term
"officers" shall mean the person or persons designated by the board of
directors or trustees of a banking organization, or the partners in the
case of a private banker, to act for the banking organization in
carrying out the provisions of this section; the term "office" shall
mean any place at which a banking organization transacts business other
than its principal office; and the term "person" shall include natural
persons, corporations, partnerships and associations.

2. Nothing in any law of this state shall in any manner whatsoever
affect the validity of, or render void or voidable, the payment
certification or acceptance of a check or other negotiable instrument
under the uniform commercial code or any other transaction by a banking
organization in this state, because done or performed on any Sunday or
public holiday, or on any Saturday between twelve o'clock noon and
midnight, provided such payment, certification, acceptance, or other
transaction would be valid if done or performed on any business day or
before twelve o'clock noon on such Saturday; provided, further, that
nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to compel any banking
organization in this state, which by law or custom is entitled to close
at twelve o'clock noon on any Saturday, to keep open for the transaction
of business or to perform any of the acts or transactions aforesaid, on
any Saturday after such hour except at its own option or to compel any
banking organizations in this state to keep open on a public holiday
except at its own option and then only to the extent it elects to do so.

3. a. The governor is authorized, by proclamation, to designate and
appoint one or more holidays, or holiday periods, to be known as bank
holidays, to be observed throughout the state, or to be observed in a
portion or portions thereof, as specified in such proclamation, if an
emergency as hereinafter defined, shall, in his opinion, require such
action.

b. Whenever the officers of a banking organization are of the opinion
that an emergency, as hereinafter defined, exists which affects one or
more or all the banking organization's offices, they shall have
authority to close one or more or all such offices even though the
governor has not issued and does not issue a proclamation of emergency,
provided however, that provision is made by such officers for the
transaction of the business normally transacted at a closed office at
another office or the principal office of the banking organization,
until further notice. The office or offices so closed shall remain
closed until the officers or, in the case of a banking organization as
defined in the banking law, the superintendent of financial services,
direct that it be opened. A banking organization closing an office or
offices pursuant to this paragraph shall give prompt notice to the
superintendent of financial services of its action.

c. Whenever the officers of a banking organization are of the opinion
that an emergency, as hereinafter defined, exists which affects the
banking organization's principal office, they shall have authority to
close such principal office even though the governor has not issued and
does not issue a proclamation of emergency, provided however, that
provision is made by such officers for the transaction of the business
normally transacted at such principal office, at another office of the
banking organization, until further notice; provided further however,
that if no other office of the banking organization can be so designated
for the transaction of the business normally transacted at the principal
office, the officers may direct that the principal office shall be
closed only with the prior approval of the superintendent of financial
services. The superintendent of financial services, in giving such
approval, may require certification of such official of the federal
government or of the state of New York or a political subdivision
thereof as he deems sufficient to establish that an emergency exists
which affects such banking organization's principal office. A banking
organization closing such principal office pursuant to this paragraph
shall give prompt notice to the superintendent of financial services of
its action.

d. Whenever the officers of a banking organization are of the opinion
that an emergency, as hereinafter defined, exists which adversely
affects the conduct of any business operation or function conducted at
the bank's principal office, they shall have the authority, upon the
prior approval of the superintendent of financial services, not to
conduct such operation or function even though the governor has not
issued and does not issue a proclamation of emergency; provided,
however, that such officers may exercise this authority without such
prior approval if they have in good faith attempted, but been unable, to
contact the superintendent of financial services to request permission
not to conduct such business operation or function; and provided further
the principal office shall not be closed in its entirety pursuant to
this paragraph. No business operation or function shall be closed
pursuant to this paragraph d unless such officers have attempted, but in
good faith found it infeasible to conduct such business operation or
function at another office. A banking organization closing any business
operation or function pursuant to this paragraph shall promptly notify
the superintendent of financial services of its action in a manner
prescribed by the superintendent.

e. The discretion of the officers of any banking organization in
acting pursuant to this subdivision, when exercised in good faith, shall
not be questioned in any court or place.

f. No banking organization and no director, officer or employee of a
banking organization shall be liable to any person for any direct or
indirect loss suffered by such person by reason of the banking
organization's failure or inability to make access to the banking
organization's premises and facilities available to such person or by
reason of the banking organization's failure to perform, or its delay in
performing, any contractual, statutory or other duty assumed by or
imposed upon the banking organization in any capacity when such failure,
inability or delay is caused by the banking organization, or any office
or the principal office thereof, being closed as authorized by this
section.

g. An emergency, within the meaning of this section, shall mean any
condition which may interfere with the conduct of normal banking
operations, in the holiday area, or at one or more or all offices or the
principal office of a banking organization or organizations, or which
poses an imminent or existing threat to the safety and security of
persons or property, or both, including floods, wind, rain, hail or snow
storms, power failures, transportation failures, earthquake, fire,
riots, strikes, civil commotion, labor disputes, enemy action or threat
of enemy action, and any similar or different condition which may
interfere physically with the conduct of normal banking operations in
the holiday area.

h. During such holiday, holidays and holiday periods, provided for in
paragraphs a through c of this subdivision, all banking organizations
may close any or all of their places of business in the holiday area.
The superintendent of financial services may, however, by special or
general regulation, restriction, or order, provide that banking
organizations (as such term is defined in the banking law) and branches
and agencies of foreign banking corporations in this state shall, to the
extent and at such of their places of business as may be directed by
him, carry on such of their normal and usual operations or banking
transactions in the holiday area during such holiday, holidays or
holiday period, as may appear to him to be in the best interests of the
public. Such holiday, holidays or holiday periods shall, with respect to
such place or places of business in the holiday area of any banking
organization which shall be closed thereon in accordance with the
provisions of this subdivision, constitute a public holiday within the
meaning of such term as used in and for all purposes of subdivision one
of section twenty-five and of subdivision one of section twenty-five-a
of this chapter (but not for the purposes of subdivision two of section
twenty-five or of subdivision two of section twenty-five-a thereof), and
shall neither be "full business days" nor banking days within the
meaning of such terms as used in and for all purposes of the uniform
commercial code, to the extent that the performance of obligations under
said code are not directed to be performed by the special or general
regulations, restrictions or orders of the superintendent of financial
services, and shall not be deemed to be public holidays for any other
purpose, or under any other provision of law. If any banking operation
or function is closed pursuant to paragraph d of this subdivision, a
bank holiday shall be deemed to exist, with the same effects and
limitations as set forth in the preceding sentence, with respect to such
banking operation or function.

i. A bank office or principal office that has been closed as
authorized by this section may nonetheless conduct limited operations
and perform banking transactions (i) for the convenience of its
customers or (ii) relating to transactions between that bank and other
banks or persons which have remained open for business or are outside
the holiday area.

j. For purposes of this section, each reference to the superintendent
of financial services shall be deemed to include any official of the
department of financial services to whom authority granted by this
section has been delegated.