Banks point finger at IRS for brief stimulus checks delay

A group of banking and credit union industry groups on Tuesday defended banks from criticism by customers who haven't received their stimulus payments yet, saying the funds aren’t being sent to financial institutions by the Biden administration until Wednesday.

The statement comes after customers of some big banks complained that they have not yet received their payments.

“The IRS recently sent an initial wave of tens of millions of economic impact payments via the Automated Clearing House (ACH) system,” the banking groups said. “The actual funds will be sent to the banks and credit unions on March 17, at which time funds will be made available to customers. Until that time, the funds remain with the government.” 


“While the IRS could have chosen to send the funds via Same Day ACH or provided for an earlier effective date, it chose not to do so,” the groups added. “It is up to the sender, in this case the IRS, to decide when it wants the money to be made available and the IRS chose March 17.”

Nine groups issued the statement, including the American Bankers Association, the Credit Union National Association and the Independent Community Bankers of America.

President BidenJoe BidenCarville advises Democrats to 'quit being a whiny party' Wendy Sherman takes leading role as Biden's 'hard-nosed' Russia negotiator Sullivan: 'It's too soon to tell' if Texas synagogue hostage situation part of broader extremist threat MORE last week signed into law a coronavirus relief package that provides for direct payments for most Americans of up to $1,400 per person. The White House said that payments would start to arrive in people’s bank accounts last weekend. 

The IRS said on Friday that the official payment date is Wednesday, and that some Americans may see pending or provisional payments in their bank accounts before then. 

While some financial companies have advanced the money to customers and have already credited customers’ accounts, the large banks have said that the stimulus payments will be available to customers starting on Wednesday. That prompted customers of banks such as Wells Fargo and Chase to criticize the companies on social media. The banks responded by saying they're not holding the funds from customers, noting the IRS's effective date of Wednesday.