An European bank Santander “accidentally” deposited $176 million across 75,000 transactions on Christmas Day. This fumble happened when payments from 2,000 business accounts in the United Kingdom were processed twice. As such, employees saw their wages double and suppliers got more than what they were to get!
The bank attributed the glitch to a scheduling issue. “The transactions comprised a range of regular and one-off payments. The recipients and purpose of payment will have varied among clients but could have included wages or supplier payments,” Santander Bank said in a statement. “We are sorry that due to technical issue, some payments from our corporate clients were incorrectly duplicated on the recipients’ accounts.”
A spokesperson for the bank said none of their clients were at any point left out of pocket as a result. “We will be working hard with many banks across the UK to recover the duplicated transactions over the coming days.”
Santander said the process of recovering the funds is an industry process known as the “bank error recovery process”. The bank said it has started to work with other banks in accordance with the process. The banks will look to recover the accidental payments from their customers’ accounts.
UK reports say the banks can retrieve the cash but some are worried that it may already have been spent and they do not want to risk pushing customers into overdrafts. One bank told The Times that it would be reluctant to take the money back if it meant the account holder was tipped into overdraft as a result.
Meanwhile, PayUK – which runs the main payment systems in the country is holding talks on how to reverse the payments. Some cash has already been recovered.