A European bank accidentally gifted $176 million into people’s accounts. The bank, Santander, spread the love over 75,000 transactions when payments from 2,000 business accounts in the U.K. were mistakenly processed twice.
Some employees saw their wages double while suppliers also got more than they were expecting. According to the bank, the duplicate payments were caused by a “scheduling issue” that has since been rectified.
Santander is now trying to get some of that money back as they’re having to contact rival banks where the accounts were located that received the extra payments. “We’re sorry that due to a technical issue, some payments from our corporate clients were incorrectly duplicated on the recipients’ accounts,” said one Santander spokesperson to CNBC.
“None of our clients were at any point left out of pocket as a result and we will be working hard with many banks across the UK to recover the duplicated transactions over the coming days.”
Needless to say, the incident may have put a damper on the spirits of some payroll staff on Christmas and Boxing Day, as they failed to tell Santander ‘no takesies backsies.’
One payroll manager told BBC that “It ruined by holiday period because I thought I’d paid out hundreds of thousands in error – I thought I had done something wrong. I thought it was just me and that I was going to get in trouble at work.” They added that Santander hasn’t shared how businesses should explain the second payment to staff or provided any information about how it should be repaid, according to the report.
The process for going about getting that money back is an industry process known as the “bank error recovery process,” says Santander. The bank has started to work with other banks in accordance with the process, and these banks will look to recover the accidental payments from their customer’s accounts. Evidently Santander can recover the funds directly from the accounts of the individuals that received the extra payments.
A note to those that still have the bonus funds: shopping spree time!