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12:48 PM
Justin Grant
Justin Grant
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How Not to Repair Your Damaged Brand: The BofA Edition

On Tuesday news broke that the beleaguered bank sent $30,000 in social security payments to the wrong person

On Tuesday news broke that the beleaguered bank sent $30,000 in social security payments to the wrong person. Apparently Bank of America erroneously gave two customers the same 10-digit account number.

Fair enough, mistakes happen. But the bank incredulously opted not to refund the elderly customer after his family brought the problem to its attention. Instead the U.S. government repaid the benefits. And Bank of America apparently ignored the problem until the San Bernardino County district attorney's office came sniffing around.

From the L.A. Times:

What they found alarmed them. Madden said it appeared that Weber hadn't received a Social Security payment since March 2009. The money was supposed to be deposited in a BofA account held by a trust in Weber's and his wife's name.

"It never occurred to them that the money was missing," Madden said. "They just believed they didn't have as much as they thought."

He said he and his father went to BofA's Hesperia branch, where Weber had his accounts, and asked the manager what was going on. The manager explained that BofA had given Weber new account numbers in 2009 because of "suspicious activity." Madden said the bank manager wouldn't elaborate on what that activity was.

In BofA's defense, with an $8.8 billion quarterly loss coming - it's worst quarter ever - every dollar counts, even a measly $30,000, right? But with the company's image in the gutter due to the lax lending standards it deployed during the subprime bubble, this latest misstep was the last thing it needed.

As the Senior Editor of Advanced Trading, Justin Grant plays a key role in steering the magazine's coverage of the latest issues affecting the buy-side trading community. Since joining Advanced Trading in 2010, Grant's news analysis has touched on everything from the latest ... View Full Bio
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