Update: RBC fixes “processing glitch”

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) said it will recover by Thursday from a processing glitch it discovered during a routine programming update to one of its computer systems. However, on Friday reports indicate that accounts may not be fully up to date until the weekend.

The glitch resulted in many client transactions — including deposits, withdrawals and payments made on May 31 and June 1 — not being reflected in clients’ account balances.

The bank said Wednesday that it had updated all account balances to reflect all transactions as of May 31. RBC said it expected to have the verification process complete for all June 1 transactions by Thursday morning.

On Thursday afternoon, the bank said in a statement that accounts had been updated to reflect transactions made through June 1, and that it “expects to have these transactions reflected in client balances tomorrow.”

It also indicated that transactions done on Thursday would be processed and updated either on Friday or over the weekend.

“We recognize this has caused not only our own clients but also clients of some other institutions considerable inconvenience and for this we sincerely apologize. We want to assure all those affected that their money is safe and secure,” said Rod Pennycook, executive vice-president, RBC Royal Bank in a statement released Wednesday.

“We process tens of millions of transactions a day and we are being painstakingly thorough in order to minimize any further inconvenience to all those affected,” Pennycook added.

A delay in payroll was another effect of the computing issues. Approximately 62,000 full-time employees of the Province of Ontario, for example, were affected by RBC’s processing glitch, explained Ciaran Ganley, spokesperson, Ontario Management Board Secretariat. Ganley said that as of 2:00 p.m. on Friday, 95 per cent of the payroll issues the province had with RBC had been addressed.

Ganley went on to say that workers with accounts in larger-sized banks, including the CIBC, had received their pay, but workers with accounts in smaller institutions were still waiting. He noted that the 19 per cent of government employees that deal directly with RBC retrieved their funds right away.

“We’ve been working closely with [RBC]…we have had no reports of any hardship or difficulties from any of our employees…no complaints,” Ganley added. “And we anticipate come Monday everyone will be addressed and if they are not, then we will deal with that in Monday.”

The Bank of Montreal (BMO) in Toronto said that as of yet, RBC’s processing glitch doesn’t seem to have had a large impact on BMO’s clients. Ralph Marranca, spokesperson for BMO, said that he doesn’t know the number of affected BMO users, “but it doesn’t sound like at any level that it is creating any problems.”

BMO is dealing with this problem in the same manner it would help customers deal with any bank-related issue where they have some automatic payments or they have to make some payments against their account and the money is not there due to a glitch, Marranca said.

He advised BMO customers to go into a branch, call the branch manager, or use its telephone banking line to let the bank know of any individual problems so arrangements can be made to clear them up.

Any-BMO generated non sufficient funds (NSF) charges that customers receive due to the RBC glitch will be reimbursed by BMO, Marranca added. TD Canada Trust also said in a statement released Friday that all fees and service charges connected to the RBC situation will be waived for affected customers.

RBC said it will refund any service fees or overdraft interest charges that clients experienced due to the processing glitch.

The Royal Bank did not return IT World Canada’s calls for comment.

— With files from Cindy Watson, IT World Canada

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