For the second time in less than a year, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is reporting a software glitch that affected numerous customer transactions.

According to CIBC spokesperson Rob McLeod, the bank experienced a problem on

Monday night which prevented the successful completion of customer transactions. McLeod couldn’t say whether these transactions were wiped out altogether or could be completed once the problem is corrected, but he did say the software responsible for transaction processing was at fault.

McLeod said he didn’t know how many CIBC account holders were affected by the problem, but said that it could be “any account that did a transaction that would have been affected by the overnight batch of transactions. It could have affected clients across the country.”

CIBC issued a statement on Tuesday that branches were open for business but that “service levels will be impacted by the systems issue.” Telephone banking, online banking and automated teller machines were all operational, but could not complete some functions such as providing account balances.

In July 2004, CIBC experienced a problem that affected its personal line of credit accounts. A “technical change” to a processing system which occurred over a weekend was halted when it noticed a programming error. That change was reversed and the affected transactions were re-processed.

CIBC is not alone in terms of banking glitches. During the bank’s last IT crisis, TD Canada Trust also reported a problem, which it described as a “temporary service disruption” that affected its ATM, EasyWeb, WebBroker and Interac systems. Bank machines and online accounts were temporarily unavailable.

It was Royal Bank of Canada that experienced the biggest glitch to date, when thousands of accounts were affected for several days. Deposits, withdrawals and payments that occurred from May 31 to June 2 were not reflected in account balances. That problem was also attributed to a software error which was caught an internal quality control procedure. RBC subsequently employed IBM to investigate the cause of the problem.


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