Bank Holiday Guide

Guidance on Selecting Bank Holidays in Euroland

For a euro-denominated trade that was entered into after the creation of the euro on January 1, 1999, the market convention is to use TARGET holidays. TARGET is the cross-border payments system for the euro.

The remainder of this page is devoted to so-called “legacy” trades. A legacy trade is one which was entered into prior to January 1, 1999 in one of the component currencies (e.g. DM, pesetas, etc) and since redenominated into euros. If you don’t have any legacy trades, you only need TARGET holidays and you don’t have to worry about the complexities discussed below.

If the only information you need is payment holidays, you should use TARGET holidays.

However, if you have an ISDA-documented trade which specifies that business days are determined by reference to one or more cities in Euroland, the position is more complex. (ISDA is the International Swaps and Derivatives Association.)

For each city in Euroland, we publish two sets of holidays: Bank holidays, and bank holidays plus TARGET (we also publish stock and futures exchange holidays, but these are not relevant here). We define all Euroland bank holidays (with the exception of ECU and TARGET) as days on which banks in the city in question are closed for general business, including dealings in foreign exchange. This definition matches that in the 1998 EMU Protocol published by ISDA. We define our “plus TARGET” holidays as days on which either banks in the city in question are closed for general business, including dealings in foreign exchange, or TARGET is closed. This definition matches Annex 1 of ISDA’s 2001 Euro Protocol.

If you are using our bank holiday data in the context of legacy Euroland trades that are documented under an ISDA master, this means that two possible sets of holidays could apply.

If you and your counterparty have both adhered to Annex 1 of the 2001 Protocol, then with effect from December 17, 2001 holidays are days that are either a TARGET holiday or a bank holiday for the city specified in your trade documentation. For example, if a trade specifies Milan business days, a good business day is a day that is neither a Milan bank holiday nor a TARGET holiday.

In all other ISDA-documented trades (i.e. you and/or your counterparty have not adhered to Annex 1, or the trade does not involve the euro), you can continue to use the bank holidays that we publish for each city, without regard to the status of TARGET.

The composite set of holidays that applies to Annex 1 counterparties can be created by merging the TARGET and local bank holidays. You can do this yourself, or we can supply you with the data. You can identify the composite data in our listing by the presence of the phrase “…plus TARGET” in the name of the Center. For example, we offer Milan bank holidays (MiB) and Milan bank holidays plus TARGET (MiI), the latter consisting of a combination of Milan and TARGET holidays.

Many hundreds of firms have adhered to the 2001 Protocol. However, some dealers and many end-users have not done so. Therefore, it is highly likely that you will need both the basic bank holiday data and the “plus TARGET” data.

The above information is based on our understanding of the facts and is intended solely for the convenience of customers. It does not take into account any bilateral modifications to the ISDA documentation that may have been negotiated between counterparties. We are not qualified to give legal advice and you should consult a legal professional for definitive guidance.