P46M ‘accidentally withdrawn’
due to BPI glitch, executive admits


At least P46 million worth in bank deposits were “accidentally withdrawn” during the breakdown in the system of the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) from June 6 to 8, an official has disclosed.

BPI President Cezar Consing revealed this in the investigation at the House of Representatives to determine why the bank’s Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), online and mobile banking all went offline and an average of P7,000 worth of deposits were deducted from each BPI client’s bank account.

“P46 million were mistakenly withdrawn due to the mispostings. Most of these outstanding mistaken withdrawals belong to merchants, small businesses, and we are making arrangements with them to settle,” Consing said at Thursday’s inquiry by the Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries led by Representative Ben Evardone of Eastern Samar.

“Most, if not all of them [merchants]agreed to settle,” Consing added.

The BPI was able to fix the glitch in 37 hours and extended its banking hours by three hours and opened its branches on the whole day of Saturday, June 10, to accommodate the BPI account holders wishing to access their cash in bank and address other concerns such as accidental withdrawals.

The breakdown in the system was caused by a programmer who had to perform a task in the system since her immediate supervisor was on leave at that time.

“It was a human error, your honors, a lapse in judgment. She [BPI employee] was immediately forthcoming, owned up that it was her fault. There are other factors that contributed to that, such as the absence of the supervisor who is the authorizing officer,” Consing said.

“There was a standing officer [for the one of leave], but he was not familiar with the system and asked the programmer to call the supervisor. The programmer did not call and proceeded to do what she thought was a better way to do the task,” Consing added.

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