Canada’s biggest bank – flops on computer glitch

A technical problem that started on May 31 prevented client transactions, such as deposits, withdrawals and payments, from showing up in account balances.

Royal Bank of Canada says computer glitch fixed
Reuters, 06.04.04, 11:49 AM ET

TORONTO, June 4 (Reuters) – Royal Bank of Canada <RY.TO>, the country’s largest bank, said on Friday its bank account operations will be back to normal this weekend after a computer glitch delayed millions of transactions over five days.

A technical problem that started on May 31 prevented client transactions, such as deposits, withdrawals and payments, from showing up in account balances.

The glitch was fixed on Wednesday, but a huge backlog in verifying transactions has caused a delay in adjusting account balances, a spokeswoman for Royal Bank said on Friday.

“We’ve fixed the problem, and we’re now verifying transactions that have taken place,” said spokeswoman Judi Levita. “Everything will be back to normal this weekend.”

The bank serves 2.5 million online and 2.4 million telephone clients in Canada in a network of 1,311 branches and 4,151 banking machines.

The bank said the problem had not affected its relations with shareholders.

“It doesn’t seem to have been a concern to investors. It’s been quiet so far,” said Peter Barnes, an investor relations spokesman at Royal Bank. “They shouldn’t be concerned. It’s been well-managed in terms of advising people of what is going on.”

The bank has promised to pay any service fees or overdraft interest charges as a result of the processing delay.

Royal Bank’s share price was flat at C$59.15 in late morning trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Friday.

($1=$1.35 Canadian)

Copyright 2004, Reuters News Service

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