One such example is in New York City at the Bank of America located at 52nd Street and Park Avenue, where large withdrawal attempts led to the bank temporarily running dry of $100 bills Thursday (March 12).
Some customers, in fear of the stock market’s disarray, were trying to withdraw amounts in the tens of thousands. The shortage came after multiple requests of that size, according to two sources who saw it personally happening.
The problem was only occurring with large bills like $100s, not smaller denominations, so the ATMs were still stocked and those looking for more routine transactions didn't have any problems. The bank was able to rectify the issue by the next morning.
A teller at a nearby JPMorgan branch had a similar story, saying there had been a higher-than-usual number of customers coming in to withdraw large sums of cash.
Bill Haldin, spokesperson for Bank of America, said the bank had the requisite cash to meet customers' needs, although large bills were typically not kept at branches for the safety of employees as well as a lack of demand.
Banks typically keep cash in giant vaults, ordering manageable amounts through secure transport services at regular intervals for branch locations. Brinks, one of the largest cash transport services, has seen a rise in demand as of late for deliveries.
The stock market’s turmoil was spurred by the coronavirus outbreak, which has not yielded yet and has spread further across the U.S. and other parts of the world. The S&P 500 stock index fell over 10 points on Thursday, ending an 11-year positive streak. Many financial institutions reported the lowest points they had reached since the 2008 recession.
But the market was able to swing back a little by Friday (March 13), when President Donald Trump declared a national emergency and freed up billions to fight the virus.