WATCH | BPI assures no depositor will lose money, says system glitch already fixed

June 7, 2017 - 8:45 AM
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BPI updated advisory

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The Bank of the Philippine Islands released advisories Wednesday morning with regard to complaints by netizens on social media about “unauthorized withdrawals”.

BPI said a system glitch was being fixed and most likely be resolved “within the day,” stressing that all errors would be reversed so that no client would lose any money credited to them.

The initial advisory from the bank states that:

“Due to an internal data processing error, some clients may have seen their accounts debited twice or credited twice for a past transaction. We are currently correcting the mispostings.”

We apologize for the inconvenience that this may have caused.

In a subsequent statement, BPI said:

“Further to our announcement this morning, we have identified an internal system error that caused some transactions occurring between April 27 and May 2 to be double-posted as of June 6.

We have identified the root cause of this error, and are temporarily suspending access to electronic channels to speed up rectification. All BPI branches will open on time this morning, and will continue to service your needs.

We anticipate full resolution of this error within today. We wish to reassure our clients that this matter will be resolved expediently, and that none of them will lose money from this incident.”

At 10 p.m., Wednesday, BPI said it had already fixed the glitch and that the bank’s automated teller machines are now fully operational.

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Earlier in the day, at about 7 a.m., Twitter and Facebook were abuzz with people alleging “unauthorized withdrawals” from their accounts at the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI).

A number of posts have appeared on social media networks reporting such incidents, with most telling other people to “check their accounts immediately”.

People also complained of having a hard time logging in through the bank’s online banking system, which apparently being overwhelmed with hundreds of account holders trying to access both the website and the mobile app.

‘Not a hack’

In a television interview with Cathy Yap-Yang on ANC this morning, Cezar P. Consing, BPI president and chief executive said that “we had a system glitch last night.”

Further saying: “We ran a batch process; what happened last night was our system picked up the wrong file, believe it or not. It picked up, the file for transactions dated April 27 to May 2 and it vanished.”

“And so, what happened is: if you were a client and you transacted with us between April 27 and May 2, you may, and I emphasize, may, have a situation where your transaction was recorded twice.”

“Some clients woke up this morning (to) find out they had less money than than thought they have or that they have more money than they thought they had. This was a data processing glitch; I have to emphasize this is not a hack at all, this was an internal issue and what we have to do is to take our systems down this morning to allow us correct those things.”

“Over the next fews hours, we are working on making sure the double debits are corrected and the double credits are corrected. So that within the day, the right amounts will appear.”

“I’d like to emphasize that when we complete this process, we will make sure that no one, I repeat, no one has lost money.”

Consing finished the ANC interview saying, “I apologize very earnestly and very sincerely to our clients who had been adversely affected by this.”

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