With an extended holiday just around the corner many ATMs seem to have already run out of cash.
The longer-than-normal holiday to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Vietnam’s reunification has yet to begin but the cash supply at many ATMs seems to have already dried up - a usual occurrence come holiday time.
By Sunday afternoon all of the ATMs of the Asia Commercial Bank and Mbank on the corner of Tran Thai Tong Street and Xuan Thuy Street in Hanoi had ceased working, presumably because they are out of cash. On nearby Cau Giay Street only one of the two Vietcombank ATMs was still working. People queued to use the ATM that was working, but not always patiently.
“Banks already charge fees for withdrawing cash and they can be fined if their ATMs aren’t working but every time there’s a holiday this happens,” said one customer waiting in the queue.
There are indeed regulations in place to ensure ATMs are working, public holiday or not. Many banks have also directed their local branches to check on the ATMs to replenish the cash supply. Yet whenever there’s a holiday, many if not most ATMs also seem to take a break.
The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has directed banks actively monitor their ATM machines, apparently without success. Anyone who needs to withdraw money prior to the holiday may want to do so sooner rather than later.