Why some RBC customers were wondering where their money went
Bank says it's resolved issue that led to e-transfers disappearing from some accounts
UPDATE: On Friday evening, several hours after this story was initially published, RBC issued a statement to CBC News saying it resolved a technical issue involving some auto-deposit e-transfers and that the funds are now in customers' accounts.
It was a surprising discovery for Tanya Shields first thing Friday morning.
The resident of Fall River, N.S., said she logged on to her Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) account to pay some bills with money she received via e-transfer from clients of her small business.
But the money wasn't there.
"It was a little bit alarming," Shields said.
She had received confirmation on Thursday night that the money had been successfully transferred, so the fact that it was missing was a concern.
Shields even had her husband transfer money to her in order to ensure that things were working correctly. His deposit transferred successfully.
"Which was more concerning than the money not being there in the first place," she said.
Others having similar issues
Shields says she checked social media and the bank's website, but there was no information that addressed the problem she was having.
She knew banks were closed on Friday and Monday due to the Easter weekend and was concerned she would end up worrying about this for days.
CBC News heard from other bank customers who experienced similar issues.
Jeff Black, a Halifax-based weapons engineering technician with the Royal Canadian Navy, says he logged on to his RBC account on Friday morning and discovered that the $2,355.97 automatically deposited via e-transfers on Thursday was missing.
The money was going to be used to pay off his property taxes and for supplies needed before he heads out to sea for three weeks.
"It did make me nervous at first, considering I received a great deal of money yesterday, and then it was all gone," he said.
It was a similar story for Christine Hunt, a controller and administrative worker in Newmarket, Ont. She logged on to her account to find money missing and her account overdrawn.
"I was in a complete panic because that's $1,000. Where did it go? And the fact that it doesn't even say it bounced. It's like it never happened," she said Friday.
Hunt found the e-transfer deposit confirmation email but still called RBC to find the missing money. She says she waited on the line for two hours before hanging up.
With her bank account in negative territory, she withdrew $200 from her line of credit to cover a prepayment. But she still has no answers as to when she'll get the money back.
"I don't know what's going to happen. Are they going to charge me because I did go into the red?" Hunt said. "The fact that it's not even listed as ever deposited — it's just blank — is just so weird."
Hi Shelley, thanks for your message. We are currently experiencing an issue with e-Transfers, that is resulting in recently deposited transfers no longer showing. We're working to have this resolved ASAP, and we appreciate your patience ^SB—@RBC
Technical issue with e-transfers resolved: RBC
In an emailed statement to CBC News on Friday evening, RBC said it has "resolved the earlier reported issue of account transfers and e-transfers involving auto-deposits recipients. Clients should now expect to see the funds reflected in their accounts."
The bank went on to say it will "reimburse the small number of clients that may have incurred charges or fees as a result of this technical issue. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and thank our clients for their patience while we worked to resolve the matter."
Earlier in the day, RBC said it had experienced a technical issue with some e-transfers.
"Auto-deposit e-transfers sent between Wednesday, April 13, midnight ET and Thursday, April 14, 11:30 p.m. ET, may not be appearing in client accounts," reads the statement, posted on RBC's mobile banking app.
"E-transfers sent outside of that time period are not impacted. We are working to post these entries and reflect accurate account balances as quickly as possible."
A spokesperson for Interac, the primary funds transfer network in Canada, said its service was "functioning normally" but that it was aware one of its "financial institution partners is experiencing an issue on their end."
By Friday evening, some customers, including Jeff Black, confirmed to CBC News that refunds have been issued.