Banking Blog

Finance Blogs » Banking Blog » ATM error costs BofA big time

ATM error costs BofA big time

By David McMillin ·
Friday, June 22, 2012
Posted: 6 am ET

For all the readers who have been frustrated with Bank of America recently, here's something that will make you laugh: The banking giant just accidentally gave a Detroit man $1.5 million. It doesn't look like the bank will be recovering the funds anytime soon, either.

Ronald Page, a BofA customer whose checking account supposedly only had a few hundred dollars, didn't receive any insufficient funds notifications when he attempted to make cash withdrawals at the ATM. In fact, he didn't even receive the traditional alert that he had reached his daily withdrawal limit. Instead, a rare ATM error allowed him to continually take out as much cash as he pleased at ATMs and casino cash windows.

So what did Page do with the money? Invest it and change his name? Squirrel it away in a Swiss bank account and leave the country? This was no criminal mastermind. This was just a man who stumbled on a treasure, and his luck appeared to stop once his ATM card dispensed the cash. He gambled it all away at three Michigan casinos. Now, he's facing federal charges, and it looks like he'll wind up in jail.

The story is laughable on both sides. It's hard to believe that any checking account holder could believe that he would get away with collecting that much cash (and lose it that quickly). However, I think Bank of America looks even more foolish here. With all the advanced banking technology, you would expect the institution to catch on to the problem relatively quickly, but it took the Charlotte-based bank 15 days to put a stop on Page's account. For a corporation that has seemed so concerned about profits for shareholders, that seems like quite a long time to let a rogue account holder drain his nonexistent cash flow.

I think it's fairly safe to assume that BofA won't be able to cash in on these overdraft fees or out-of-network ATM charges.

Bankrate wants to hear from you and encourages comments. We ask that you stay on topic, respect other people's opinions, and avoid profanity, offensive statements, and illegal content. Please keep in mind that we reserve the right to (but are not obligated to) edit or delete your comments. Please avoid posting private or confidential information, and also keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

By submitting a post, you agree to be bound by Bankrate's terms of use. Please refer to Bankrate's privacy policy for more information regarding Bankrate's privacy practices.
August 05, 2012 at 10:10 am

THIS IS GREAT NEWS!!! It could NOT have happened to a more deserving bunch of incompitent A-HOLES!!!

B0A = Bend Over America!!

August 03, 2012 at 4:21 pm

How certain are we that he gambled it all away? Or did he just say he did? He has to give it back if he still has it. If not, he does some time - but for how long? And then digs up his nest egg when he's released and slips quietly away...

August 02, 2012 at 12:57 pm

BofA does charge outrageous fees BUT all these fee's are explained in the terms of condition when you open up an account. The fact many don't bother to read them and don't bother to keep track of their balance which often results in overdraft fees is not BofA's fault... People know their going to get hit a fee if they use a ATM thats not owned by BofA but they do it anyways and then complain about the fee. Or those who spend recklessly on their BofA credit card and then make their min. payment late which results in a fee... I've been with BofA 20 years and never have paid a fee, I make sure I have the min in my account to get the account fee waved, I only use BofA ATM's which is easy as their is a BofA everywhere and I pay my credit card off each month and on time... It's said irresponsible people like to blame everyone but themselves.

July 31, 2012 at 4:13 pm

I hate BoA just as much as the next person. And as much as I don't feel sorry for this bank, I also don't feel sorry for this man either. He had the opportunity that the rest of us can only dream of. He practically had his own 'electronic' money tree. Instead of using that rare opportunity to invest it or stash it away someplace hidden, he foolishly spends it all at a casino. Now he's going to jail and has nothing to show for it. I don't know who's the biggest fool: the bank and their bullyish policies or this man who had the opportunity of the lifetime and blows it! Both the bank and this guy deserves what they get

July 31, 2012 at 9:49 am

Happy I left B of A many years ago. Guess the branches were
doing you a favor. That is Banks management.

July 31, 2012 at 8:27 am

BoA was vicious towards my daughter who is disabled. They slapped her with multiple "convenience" fees at $35 a pop. When I went to explain, it was like talking to the government. They were rude, arrogant, and smug. These were their positive qualities. BoA deserves what they get. . . . the self righteous b-tards.

edward delahousie
July 30, 2012 at 10:15 pm

I don't condone what he did. He knew he didn't have that money but spent it anyway. But being a old customer of bofa and being ripped off with all their fees. They got what they deserved.

July 30, 2012 at 9:39 pm

I'm a new customer at B of A , and I will be keeping a close eye on my account. Because I have heard many stories about their banking Practices , and how they manilpulate the systems ,loopholes and to top it off; Customers !
However , if they decide to make a 500.00 deposit 5,000,000.00
I will gladly deposit it in savings for a month , and take the 0.5% int. as a profit, as thay do daily !! Thanks 😉

Dave Harris
July 29, 2012 at 7:48 pm

BofA routinely steals from its customers. This is peanuts to them, but they'll still steal some more to make up the loss.

Dennis Schehl
July 24, 2012 at 10:22 am

I have banked with BoA (and predessors)for over 45 years. Yes they are stupid. The worst was a story in the news that an employee in Charlotte stopped a suspicious transfer of funds to another country that would have resulted in the loss of millions of dollars. The president of the bank was asked what reward they were giving the employee and he stated none..that was her job. This a-hole of course was being paid millions to be a jerk.