Should’ve checked first: Hong Kong bank accidentally throws away deposit box contents

Bank of East Asia Castle Peak Road Branch, Hong Kong

Customers at a Hong Kong bank had their checks cleared — literally — last week when a box containing the slips was “accidentally” thrown away during renovations.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Bank of East Asia (BEA) said the check deposit box at its Castle Peak Road branch in Cheung Sha Wan was dumped on Sept. 30 as workers spruced up the site.

“Due to procedural oversight during renovation work, which was carried out at the Branch during the previous weekend, the Cheque Deposit Box was accidentally disposed of, and cheques deposited into the box were lost as a result,” the bank wrote.

“The Bank apologises for any inconvenience this incident may have caused, and will provide assistance to the affected people.”

In a story this morning, the SCMP quoted a spokesman as saying about about 10 people had been affected by the box’s removal and some of them had been contacted.

The statement said that customers who used the deposit box on the day should contact Ms. Chow at the branch or visit there for assistance as soon as possible.

If you’re a customer who needs to check (sorry), Ms. Chow can be reached at (852) 3609 2600.

A similar incident in 2004 saw some 83 safety deposit boxes from DBS Bank’s Mei Foo branch mistakenly sent to the scrap yard.

In a story at the time, the Associated Press reported that the boxes were crushed and their contents, including valuable jewelry, strewn amongst the junk.

Human error was blamed.


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