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BPI system glitch causes mispostings on client accounts

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Numerous clients of the Bank of the Philippine Islands on Wednesday, June 7, unauthorized transactions that deducted money from their accounts or worse, even led to their account balances becoming negative.

In a statement issued around 8 am on Wednesday, BPI attributed the fiasco to an "internal data processing error."

"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," the bank said.

"We apologize for the inconvenience that this may have caused."

It then issued another statement at around 9:30 am, specifying that "transactions occurring between April 27 and May 2" were "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," BPI also said.

It assured clients that the issue would be resolved on Wednesday, and that their bank accounts would return to normal.

"We wish to reassure our clients that this matter will be resolved expediently, and that none of them will lose money from this incident," BPI said.

On social media, clients had complained that the amounts deducted ranged from several hundreds to thousands of pesos.

BPI gising na! This is urgent. We can't wait for 8 AM when our accounts just lost money by the thousands. People need to withdraw before 8! — heyitsodee (@heyitsodee) June 6, 2017 Hi! How do we check if our accounts have been debited without our knowledge? People are exploding their accounts were debited. — The Erwinator (@Cust3rw1nst0n) June 6, 2017 mine too. Tapos no statements at all from bpi?? Our whole office is freaking out — binks mrquez (@srslybinks) June 6, 2017 What happened BPI??? Withdrawals from June5-6 — akosipepay (@fayevillareal) June 6, 2017 Both my accounts have negative balances -- please address that! Woke up with no money today :( — PeachAndCherry 박 체리 (@PeachChiPie) June 6, 2017 BPI!!!! What is this?!!! What is going on? Why do I have a withdrawal in my account too!? Done 6/6/2017 And my account is NEGATIVE! — asiannvddles (Meeko) (@AsianNvddles) June 6, 2017 Ano lagi nalang ba kayong may glitch? Nawawalan kami ng pera gawan nyo agad ng paraan may pinaglalaanan kmi nyan — Aldrino (@p_aldrino_) June 7, 2017 I have negative balance in my account too please fix this — mochi (@kofikrimer) June 6, 2017 I lost almost 7k in my BPI account! Where did it went? I dont have anymore money to go home! — BlaireJohn Parojinog (@bjlparojinog001) June 6, 2017 We are trying to report unauthorized withdrawal! Fix your contact center asap!!!!! — Poi Beltran (@poibeltran) June 6, 2017 I just lost a total of 16k what is going on @TalktoBPI???? — Enriel Salvador (@Enriel06) June 6, 2017 hoy ibalik nio ung pera ko!!!!!! bakit i lost 20k on my online account! — Jeyms Salazar (@jeyms_salazar) June 6, 2017

BPI is owned by local conglomerate Ayala Corporation, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila, and Singapore's GIC Private Ltd.

The Ayala-led bank is the 3rd biggest universal bank in the country in terms of deposits. As of March 2017, its total deposits reached P1.44 trillion and total resources hit P1.73 trillion.

It reported net income of P6.3 billion in the first 3 months of 2017, up 26% from the same period a year ago.

As of end-2016, it has 821 branches across the country, including 35 kiosk branches, and has a network of 3,061 automated teller machines and cash deposit machines. – Rappler.com