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Charity nabs bonus from bank debacle

A National Australia Bank client affected by its technology failure has been offered more than three times the amount of money that went missing because of the error.

The Humanitus Foundation, which supports education in Indonesia and Cambodia, had deposited $1500 on November 29 at a suburban Melbourne NAB branch, due to be credited to the organisation's Teachers Credit Union account.

The credit union later said it had no record of the deposit, which forced the Australia-based Humanitus to scrap a scheduled construction of a water filtration system at a school in Cambodia.

After a week of inaction from NAB, Humanitus executive director Jeffrey Richards went public with the slow response in recovering the money. The bank then apologised and offered Humanitus $5000 with promises of ongoing assistance in fund-raising efforts. ?They (NAB) stepped up to the mark and I'm more than happy with what they have donated to our work,? said Mr Richards, who said the bank asked him not to disclose the amount.

NAB has also offered to help on other projects in the future, said both NAB and Mr Richards. NAB has been struggling to restore retail and commercial accounts since November 25, when a failure in its overnight processing stopped millions of customers from receiving pay. A error threw customer records into disorder and for a period slowed ATM and eftpos transactions. Issues remain An update on NAB's internet banking site today said problems remain for some accounts. ?NAB can confirm that the majority of customer payments and transactions have been completed and most account balances are now up-to-date,? the bank said. ?We know that some customers are still experiencing inconsistencies and we're actively working to address these as soon as possible.?

Since the problem first emerged, NAB has stressed that no customers would be out of pocket for any expenses related to the computer failure. To date, more than 6500 customers have signed up for compensation for costs linked to the bank's problems.

Despite the offer of a donation, Mr Richards said he still doesn't know the status of his deposit. ?It's all well and good having a donation made to the foundation,? said Mr Richards. ?But it's also pretty important, I think, that the original deposit is tracked down.? Mr Richards said he's still trying to work out how to get the money to Cambodia to begin the project.

Sydney Morning Herald article

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