Westpac Involved in Second Banking Glitch


Sydney woman Christine Lee’s experience is the second banking glitch of Westpac. In 2009, Westpac had to face a similar situation when the bank accidentally sets the wrong overdraft limit on another account holder, Leo Gao.

Recently, Westpac had to face appalling situation  after it mistakenly given $4.6 million to Christine Lee. However, it seems that the glitch was not the only error it had made. In a similar circumstance, an employee had accidentally placed the decimal point in the wrong place, hence, Leo Gao was given NZ$10 million (AU$9.1+) overdraft instead of the NZ$100,000 (AU$91752.64) he requested.

The New Zealand service station owner, Gao, went to Asia after discovering the bank’s error. Gao and his girlfriend, Kara Hurring informed their friends that they were going for a holiday. Thus, they left the country and Gao transferred $NZ6.7M (AU$9.14M) to various accounts in China, Macau and Hongkong.

Unlike Lee,  New Zealand’s Law was not so favourable to Gao. Subsequently, he was tracked down by Interpol after 2 1/2 years and  sentenced to four years prison; he was later released in 2013. He was arrested on seven charges of theft, reported Sydney Morning Herald.

Westpac was only able to recover $3 million and Gao did not reveal where the rest of the amount was.

In this regard, the Sydney student had a better luck as Magistrate Lisa Stapleton did not think Lee committed any crime. Stapleton argued, “it isn’t proceeds of crime. It’s money we all dream of.”

She granted a bail to Lee and stated that it implied that Lee would owe the bank the money, at the same time, she would not have broken any law.

Meanwhile, Westpac is constantly in the news for its service related errors. Last December some shoppers reported that their cards were being declined at the checkout. The shoppers stated that they had money in their account but still the error persisted, reported

The bank in its statement said that some customers in Eftpos terminals faced the problem but the technical team was working on it. Westpac also apologised to the customers for the technical glitch.

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