Britain’s Santander bank got into the Christmas spirit this year, mistakenly paying a total of 130 million pounds – or 175 million US dollars – to customers on December 25.
In a statement published Thursday (30), Santander said the total payments were broken down into 75,000 transactions for nearly 2,000 corporate and commercial customers. “We regret that due to a technical issue, some payments from our corporate customers were incorrectly duplicated in the recipients’ accounts,” the statement said.
“As a result, none of our customers have been at a loss, and we will work hard with several UK banks to restore duplicate transactions in the coming days.” Santander blamed the duplicate payments on a scheduling problem, which the bank said was “identified and quickly corrected”.
He added that the transactions were regular and timely payments that could include payments from suppliers or salaries.
Santander is working to recover funds from receiving banks through a “bank error recovery process,” according to the statement, and has processes in place for requesting refunds of erroneously deposited funds directly from recipients.
Santander UK is a wholly owned subsidiary of the global bank Banco Santander, headquartered in Spain. The operation in the region has 14 million active customers and 616 branches, according to its website.
While the $175 million is a large sum to be paid in error, it is not significant next to the $500 million US bank Citibank lost in one of the “biggest blunders in the history of the banking sector”.
The bank mistakenly sent $900 million to creditors of cosmetics company Revlon and went to court in August 2020 to try to recover about $500 million that had not been voluntarily paid.
But in February, a US District Court ruled that the bank was not allowed to recover the funds.
* Translated text. To read the original text in English, click here.
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