The City of Hayward could sure use the extra revenue, but an error by Bank of the West on Oct. 6 mistakenly double-posted 408 payments from residents and city customers totaling $315,775, the city said Thursday.
A city revenue officer reported the error on Tuesday, said the city. “Upon discovering the error, city officials immediately notified Bank of the West and have been working to get an explanation, identify affected customers, determine how many duplicative withdrawals may have been processed by customer banks, and ensure full reimbursement. The city Revenue Division will be reaching out directly to affected customers to inform them of the error by telephone,” said a statement from the city.
“We are deeply disturbed by what has taken place,” said Hayward City Manager Kelly McAdoo. “We apologize and promise a full explanation, accounting and repayment of any duplicate withdrawals and overdraft fees that may have been incurred as a result.”
The initial batch of Electronic Fund Transfers was correctly run on Aug. 28, according to the city, only to be processed a second time more than a month later on Oct. 6. Some payments were automatically rejected by the customer’s banks, while others were inconvenienced by the matter.
Hayward Finance Director Dustin Claussen spared no displeasure toward Bank of the West’s handling of the error. “Bank of the West has consistently told us that it was impossible for a file to double post as occurred in this instance and that their system would reject it automatically,” said Claussen. “Apparently that wasn’t the case.”
Bank of the West has yet to provide the city with an explanation of the mix-up, he added, and he asks for a “full and complete disclosure of what transpired, and will then determine what, if any, additional steps should be taken.”
“The integrity of and public trust in our finance and banking operations are critical,” said Claussen. “We will do what is necessary to protect and maintain it.”