MANILA, June 7 (Reuters) - Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), the country’s third-largest lender, said mystery withdrawals and deposits reflected in accounts on Wednesday were caused by an internal error and not hackers.
Efforts to rectify the situation were “progressing well,” BPI said in a statement.
The error comes as authorities push banks to boost defences against cyber crime, after $81 million stolen from Bangladesh’s central bank last year was channelled to a Philippine bank and several casinos.
“Some clients woke up this morning to find out they have less money than they thought they had, or they have more money than they thought they had. This was a data processing glitch,” BPI President Cezar Consing told news channel ANC. “I have to emphasize: This is not a hack at all.”
Social media was abuzz on Wednesday with people complaining about lost funds. One person, Karen Manuyag, on Twitter said 40,000 pesos ($816) had vanished from her BPI account.
The incoming governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Nestor Espenilla, urged for calm and said the central bank had been assured that BPI’s systems had not been compromised.
“We take their assurance that this is not a hack and that no money will be lost,” Espenilla, currently BSP deputy governor in charge of banking supervision, told ANC.
BPI’s share price fell as much as 1.9 percent on Wednesday. It closed up 1.2 percent, compared with a 0.6 percent rise in the benchmark share price index.
Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; Writing by Karen Lema; Editing by Christopher Cushing