Bacs, Christmas 2017, Direct Debit, non-processing days
Bureau Service
22, NOV 2017

The John Lewis Christmas ad has aired… time to make sure you’re up to speed with the Christmas non-processing days so that your direct debits run smoothly over the festive period.

It feels like the run up to Christmas starts earlier and earlier every year – no sooner has Halloween finished than the shops are full of festive cheer. Still, there are some advantages to being prepared well in advance for Christmas, not least making sure you have taken account of the Bacs direct debit non-processing days due to the Christmas bank holidays.

Non-processing days over Christmas 2017

The bank holidays over Christmas mean you have to think a bit more carefully about when you need to submit your files to Bacs in order for payments to be processed. Given the 3 day Bacs cycle, the ideal approach is to work backwards from the date the payment is due to arrive into your account.

Identify the payment/processing date. Work backwards, skipping over any bank holidays – this year, these are Monday 25th and Tuesday 26th December and Monday 1st January – and the weekends, to establish the correct date to submit your files to Bacs. We’ve compiled this table to indicate your latest submission dates over the Christmas period.

If the payment is to arrive in your account on… …the processing date must be… …and so the latest submission date is…
Friday 22 December Thursday 21 December Wednesday 20 December
Wednesday 27 December Friday 22 December Thursday 21 December
Thursday 28 December Wednesday 27 December Friday 22 December
Friday 29 December Thursday 28 December Wednesday 27 December
Tuesday 2 January Friday 29 December Thursday 28 December
Wednesday 3 January Tuesday 2 January Friday 29 December
Thursday 4 January Wednesday 3 January Tuesday 2 January


The consequences of getting it wrong can be quite damaging. If you are anticipating payments into your account in order to be able to pay others – suppliers or staff, it’s vital to make sure you get it right. Equally, you have to bear in mind the consequences of getting it wrong on the people paying you. If you take funds too early and force people into overdraft over the festive period, you will not only be very unpopular, you can bag yourself some bad publicity.

Submitting Bacs files in advance – remember to include a valid processing date

Files can be submitted to Bacs up to 30 days in advance. Normally, we’d suggest submitting files as close as possible to the collection date – this allows you to have as much time as possible to action Bacs reports. However, with a big holiday like Christmas coming up – and lots of staff being away, it can be a good idea to submit files a bit earlier to keep on top of everything.

The key thing to remember when submitting files early is to remember when to submit them OR to include the correct processing date. If not, the payment defaults to the next valid processing/payment date – which could mean funds being taken early from your customers. This kind of story often hits the press over the festive period – just make sure it’s not your organisation that features!

 Use a Direct Debit Bureau to get it right.

If you’re concerned about how your organisation is going to manage its direct debits over the festive period, we can help. As a Bacs accredited Direct Debit Bureau, we can step in and assist you with lodgement to make sure payments over the festive period are taken correctly.

We’re open on every working day over Christmas and New Year – so if you do have any questions or problems, get in touch and we’ll do our best to help.

Between Christmas and New Year, we’re open as follows

Wednesday 27th December 09:00 till 2.30

Thursday 28th December 09:00 till 2.30

Friday 29th December 09:00 till 2:30

You can get in touch with us at the Clear Direct Debit office: Top Floor, 5 – 7 Linkfield Corner, Redhill, RH1 1BD, Telephone: 0845 658 6488, Email: support@cleardebit.co.uk.

You may also find it helpful to have these useful phone numbers to hand

Get ahead for 2018

Finally, if you’re feeling very organised, the BACS calendar for 2018 is available on our website . Get the non-processing days in your calendar now! You might also be interested to know that our 2018 Direct Debit regional training dates are now live. We run sessions across the UK, designed to give you a complete and thorough overview of the Direct Debit Scheme requirements.

Get in touch if you have any queries – and otherwise, we hope you have a great Christmas!