On Christmas Day this year, thousands of consumers received a surprising gift when European bank Santander inadvertently deposited £130 million ($176 million) across 75,000 transactions. Payments from 2,000 company accounts in the United Kingdom were processed twice, causing some employees’ earnings to double and suppliers to receive more than they expected. The repeated payments were triggered by a “scheduling issue,” according to the bank, which has already been resolved.
It is now attempting to recoup the erroneous payments, many of which have ended up in rival banks’ accounts. “We apologize that some payments from our business clients were wrongly duplicated on the beneficiaries’ accounts due to a technical error,” a Santander spokeswoman told CNBC.”As a result, none of our clients have been left out of pocket, and we will be working diligently with several banks across the UK in the coming days to recover the repeated transactions.”
The incident is said to have dampened the emotions of several payroll employees on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, according to reports. “It wrecked my holiday season,” one payroll manager reportedly told the BBC, “because I believed I’d paid out hundreds of thousands in error – I thought I’d done something wrong.” “I assumed it was just me, and that I’d get in trouble at work.” According to the research, Santander has not shared how firms should explain the second payment to employees or provided any advice about how it should be reimbursed.
According to the research, Santander has not shared how firms should explain the second payment to employees or provided any advice about how it should be reimbursed.
The mechanism for retrieving the monies, according to Santander, is known as the “bank error recovery process” in the industry. It went on to say that it had begun working with other banks in compliance with the protocol, and that these institutions would try to recover the funds from their customers’ accounts. It also stated that it has the capacity to retrieve funds from people’s accounts directly.
Meanwhile, Chase Bank made a $50 billion mistake in a Louisiana man’s account earlier this year. Chase Bank blamed the problem on a “technical fault” in a statement to CNN in July, noting that the account was eventually restored to its original balance.
Mistakenly deposited funds should, in most situations, be repaid, as with the aforementioned blunders. Citibank’s $900 million blunder is one prominent exception. Due to pre-existing loan terms and confusing methods Citi had in place for delivering payments, some hedge firms elected to keep the money after Citi unintentionally wired almost a billion dollars to them. A judge concluded that this was completely OK. The phrase “finders keepers” is unlikely to apply to the Santander crowd.