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Worst Bank Error Ever: Customers Owe Trillions

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By Christopher Coble, Esq. on December 03, 2015 11:12 AM

We've all had that dream -- you know, the one where you think you're getting your last 40 bucks from the ATM, only the balance on your receipt has few more digits and commas than you expected. And that little yellow card from Monopoly flashes before your eyes: BANK ERROR IN YOUR FAVOR.

Now imagine the nightmare version of that, where all those digits are in red, and you owe the bank trillions. Not as fun, right? But that's what happened to some First Hawaiian Bank customers, who woke up Tuesday morning trillions of dollars in debt.

Billion With a 'B', Trillion With an 'Oh S**t'

Take it away, George White: "I saw these massive numbers and my first thought was 'Well, my wife is going to kill me.'" No kidding. When White logged on to his bank account this week, it showed a $710 billion outstanding balance. He told KHON2, "I was a little bit frustrated or worried, especially nowadays with all the holidays and in general with cyber crime. Our credit ratings and our livelihood depend on the banks."

But hundreds of billions is pennies compared to Honolulu resident Angela Kwong, whose online account said she had an outstanding balance of more than $1.4 trillion. Bill Gates isn't even worth a trillion dollars and poor Angela owed that much to her bank.

Scratch That Glitch

It appears as though First Hawaiian responded promptly to the error. The bank released a statement saying:

First Hawaiian Bank's online banking platform experienced a glitch where customers viewing their accounts online were temporarily shown an incorrect balance. Within minutes of discovering the glitch, we were able to resolve the issue.

No actual customer information or balances were affected or compromised, the glitch was limited to the view shown in the online banking environment. We want to sincerely apologize to our customers for any inconvenience this may have caused and we are glad that this was resolved very quickly.

No word on whether the bank will cover medication necessary to treat its customers' spike in blood pressure.

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