In the USA, if I were to have an account balance of six hundred thousand dollars which I would like to withdraw in cash, is there any federal obligation for the bank to hand the money out in a certain time?
If so, what would that time limit be?
This is determined by each banking institution. In general, if making the withdrawal in person, the limit is based on what you have in your account, but many ask for advance notice when withdrawing more than $5000. They may still allow a larger withdrawal without notice, but usually have a policy in place and will tell you over the phone. You should also be aware that the bank is required to report withdrawals totaling $10,000 or more in a day to the treasury department and may require extra paper work (businesses are often exempted or at least have higher amounts).
For very large withdrawals, you would definitely have to wait, but you may not be able to get an answer over the phone as to how long unless you actually have $600K on deposit at that bank. They will have some kind of protocol to handle such a request, i.e. teller will talk to a manager, who may have to make a call to a regional or national office and make special arrangements.
Most branches don't want to have their regular stash of cash plus an extra $600K lying around. There are insurance and security concerns. The increased potential for theft can put employees and other customers at risk. They may also not feel comfortable unloading bags of money from their vault or armored truck into the back of your car.
While this is a very uncommon scenario, it has actually happened before. It took 'weeks' and when funds were available, additional security and police escorts were called in.
You can find summaries of the regulations here and here and more complete info here. In general, the money should be available within 1-8 business days after it is deposited depending on the nature and amount of the deposit, but the regulations are really designed for more ordinary transactions. For a $600K withdrawal, the bank can cite security issues and decline to honor the request in cash. If you ask, your bank should provide their standard policy, which could include language such as this:
We require prior notice for large cash withdrawals. We can refuse an order to withdraw funds in cash or to cash an item if we believe that the request is a security risk or possesses a hardship on the Bank. We may require you to accept an Official Check or electronic transfer to receive the funds. If we agree to a large cash withdrawal, you may be required to employ a courier service acceptable to us and at your risk and expense. If a large cash withdrawal is completed at a branch you will be required to sign a cash withdrawal agreement. Refusal to sign the agreement is grounds for us to revoke the cash withdrawal and require an alternate delivery for the funds.
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