P46 million mistakenly withdrawn from BPI during system glitch

Mara Cepeda
P46 million mistakenly withdrawn from BPI during system glitch
BPI president and CEO Cezar Consing says 'most if not all' of the amount has been returned, with a majority of affected accounts involving those owned by small businesses

MANILA, Philippines – The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) said a total of P46 million was mistakenly withdrawn from the bank when its electronic channels were shut down for 26 hours due to a system glitch.

BPI president and CEO Cezar Consing revealed this while responding to the question of Parañaque City 2nd District Representative Gustavo Tambunting at the House probe into the BPI system glitch and the reported skimming of BDO Unibank’s automated teller machines.

“The amount that was mistakenly withdrawn from BPI totaled P46 million,” Consing said on Thursday, June 22.

“There were mispostings, and because there were mispostings, there was an amount that in some cases that were withdrawn,” he added. 

Joseph Gotuaco, BPI executive vice president for retail banking, added the average misposting for both debits and credits was around P7,000. The highest amount debited was around P1.6 million, and the highest credit pegged at P2.6 million, he said.

BPI’s system glitch happened late night on June 6 and lasted until June 8, affecting 1.5 million of the bank’s 8 million clients. BPI had to suspend its online and electronic services for a total of 26 hours. 

BPI has since identified the cause as human error by a programmer who had inputted bank transaction data under the wrong dates. (READ: BPI on June 6 glitch: ‘100% not a hack’)

Consing assured lawmakers, however, that most of the mistaken withdrawals were being returned already. He said most of those affected are the accounts of small businesses. 

“Most of these P46 million are getting paid back; most, if not all,” said the BPI chief.

“Most of them are with merchants, most of them are with small business because with the way small business accounts work….We’ve talked to the merchants and we are adjusting the numbers one by one,” he added.

In an earlier Senate inquiry into the matter, BPI said it had set up 4 mechanisms to prevent another massive error from happening in the future. – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.


Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.