Odd things have been happening to people’s bank balances in Switzerland recently. In early April a customer of Bank Coop in Basel discovered he was a millionaire. Last week, many BCV (Banque Cantonale Vaudoise) customers found themselves penniless.
According to 20 Minuten, a customer of Bank Coop found over 20 million francs in his account. Last week, according to 24 Heures, a number of BCV customers logged into their accounts via the internet to discover any money they had was gone.
Lucky customer, Goran Teofilovic, couldn’t believe his eyes on 1 April. Before taking out some cash from a Bank Coop ATM to do some shopping, he checked his balance. To his shock there was 20.5 million francs available. The driver in his fifties, went straight to the bank to show them. “I’m a millionaire but don’t know why” he told bank staff. Unfortunately for him the error was corrected six hours later and his balance went back to normal. The bank also assured him that he hadn’t been a victim of an April fools joke. A spokesperson for the bank said the problem was traced to this particular ATM location and the customer wouldn’t have been able to withdraw the 20 million. He added that it’s not impossible that other clients were victims of the same error.
Banque Cantonale Vaudoise
Then last Friday evening, an e-banking software update at BCV reduced a large number of the bank’s 370,000 customers’ balances to zero, according to 24 Heures. Fortunately, the bug was dealt with and people’s bank balances were restored after a few hours. In addition, customers were unable to withdraw money or pay with their cards for around four hours. Eventually, by about 10pm, the the problem was resolved.
“This software release triggered a series of technical problems” explained Christian Jacot-Descombes, a BCV spokesperson. “Our entire system was affected. Once our e-banking system assumed account balances were zero, that triggered the rejection of users’ Maestro cards.
It was the first upset of its kind experienced by the bank. “With every software update our primary concern is security” added Christian Jacot-Descombes. “For us it’s essential to ensure maximum security, which sometimes puts a heavy load on the system. Often the solution is to temporarily go back to the previous version. This time that wasn’t necessary. We were able to fix the bug.”