Computer glitches hurt bank clients

October 2 2009 by Ellen Roseman

TD Bank is having problems south of the border with two U.S. banks it acquired recently. Its attempts to integrate computer systems fell apart this week, causing chaos for customers waiting for salary cheques, pensions and mortgages and other payments.

The beginning of the month is a bad time for breakdowns. TD is trying to buy goodwill by depositing $25 into the accounts of some upset complainers, says this wire story.

In the days before online banking was not widespread, most customers would not have noticed. But now, they’re so aware that they’ve overwhelmed the phone lines at the bank’s call centre, filled branch lobbies and have made their gripes public on Twitter.

Canadians aren’t affected. But some are suffering with computer glitches at Ally Bank (formerly ResMor Trust, owned by GMAC). An advertising campaign created excitement, but new clients were facing delays in getting their money moved over at first.

While the problems seem to be cleared up now, suspicion always lingers, as this customer says:

Ally Bank has attracted a lot of attention on Canadian financial forums for its slick interface, 24/7 call centre and competitive high-interest savings account. So a number of us have opened up accounts to test it out.

See this thread:

They have a very nice, fast process to confirm linked accounts for electronic funds transfers, and they will credit inbound transfers instantly “in good faith” for the purpose of accruing interest. But, a number of people including myself are finding that their external accounts still haven’t been debited weeks later. Two people report that they initiated external-to-Ally transfers as long ago as September 15 (two weeks ago, 10 business days) and the money still hasn’t left their external account.

I quote CROCKD from this post:

I have three transfers outstanding from Sept.15, Sept. 17 and Sept 19. My credit union confirms that they have not received any EFT’s for transfers.
Like others, my Ally account is credited with the amounts I nominated to transfer.

One wonders if when they get your funds, is it going to be this difficult to get them back?

Is Ally going to lose credibility before they even achieve it?

4 comments

  1. The Rat

    Oct 3 2009

    In my view, I can’t think of anything worse than having a family and waiting for your pay to be transferred into your bank account only to find that because of computer glitches, you may be stuck having to wait until the beginning of the following week for the cash.

    I suppose there are growing pains associated with acquisitions in general, and in the is case, surely TD seems to be experiencing some of their own. Interesting read!

  2. Bylo

    Oct 4 2009

    Maybe TD got overconfident and cocky. When they bought Canada Trust a few years ago the merger of their two systems went relatively smoothly. (I don’t recall any customer horror stories.) But in that instance they took over a year and did the merger in stages across regions in Canada. I wonder if their US counterparts were as fastidious?

  3. Dan

    Oct 4 2009

    But were clients getting paid interest on two deposits at the same time?

    As long as everything worked out in the end, I’d say that consumers were the real winners.

    Though I guess the lost sleep may not have been worth the extra interest.

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