Bank Apologizes for Computer Glitch Behind Bogus Bankruptcies

Published 02/13 2014 04:36PM

Updated 02/13 2014 05:31PM

A computer glitch prompts concerns for customers of Fifth Third Bank. Officials say the bank inadvertently reported to credit bureaus that many customers filed for bankruptcy.

The Cincinnati-based banking giant is now sending letters of apology to it's customers to let them know about the mistake.

"Unfortunately things like this happen. We wish it didn't. We really regret it," said Shelley Kirk, the Director of Marketing. "That's why we took action so quickly to correct it."

Bank officials say a software upgrade last Fall caused the bank to inadvertently report to the credit bureaus that thousands of customers had filed for bankruptcy. One source tells Eyewitness News that 21,000 customers across the country were affected. However, the mistake was short-lived, according to bank officials.

Kirk said the glitch was corrected in December.

"It is a small percentage but even for one person it is disturbing," Kirk said. "We regret that it even happened to anyone. We don't want this to happen and that's why we took the steps so quickly to make it right."

Part of that process, Kirk said, was the bank informing the credit bureaus that it had made a mistake. The mistake could have han an impact on the credit scores of the affected customers and their to qualify for loans. The affected customers aren't centralized in one particular part of the country, Kirk said.

"Customers now should feel no impact whatsoever," Kirk said. "It should be as if it never happened. If they were to go to the credit bureau and check their credit score, it should be as if there was never any issue at all."

Even still, bank officials felt the need to send an apology. The glitch should not be confused with a security breach, Kirk said.

"It won't happen again. In that regard, I can say we learned something from it," Kirk said. "I do hope it drives home the fact to our customers that we value them greatly. We regret that this happened."

If you have any questions or concerns, you should contact your local branch. Also, it's a good idea to check your credit report, Kirk said.

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