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Computer Trouble Delays Washington Mutual Deposits

California

June 21, 2003|E. Scott Reckard

Washington Mutual Inc. was unable to post deposits in 10 states including California from late Thursday through midday Friday because a computer in Northridge malfunctioned, the company said.

Deposits after about 10 p.m. Thursday, including automatic paycheck funds, did not appear in accounts until the problem was fixed, which took until about 1 p.m. in California, spokesman Adrian Rodriguez said.

During that time, customers could put money in but had no access to the new deposits, although they could withdraw funds deposited earlier. An undetermined number had trouble withdrawing needed funds, according to Washington Mutual, which ranks No. 3 in market share among banks and thrifts doing business in California.

The Seattle-based savings and loan had $160 billion on deposit in 14 states as of March 31. It said it did not believe that any checks bounced erroneously as a result of the malfunction. If any checks were returned in error, the company will waive fees and write letters on behalf of customers, Rodriguez said.

-- E. Scott Reckard

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