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Prudential Singapore to pay at least S$2.2m to all customers hit by wrong GIRO deductions

[SINGAPORE]PRUDENTIAL Singapore on Saturday said that it would pay S$100 to each customer whose GIRO deduction date for their monthly insurance premiums fell on Thursday.

This would include customers affected by erroneous GIRO deductions.

These erroneous deductions that occurred on Thursday would, according to social media posts by Prudential customers, include those that were a hundred times of the actual premiums, which would likely suggest a missing decimal point.

The offer would bring the total sum to at least S$2.2 million. The insurer told The Business Times that 22,000 customers had been hit by deductions that were in excess of their monthly insurance premiums.

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Prudential Singapore said that customers will receive the amount by June 3.

All affected accounts were fully refunded within 24 hours.

In a statement on Facebook, Wilf Blackburn, CEO of Prudential Singapore, said: "While we cannot undo the anxiety and inconvenience that you must have gone through, we are doing everything possible to make sure this doesn't happen again." He added: "We hope this will in some small way express our heartfelt apologies."

Customers received SMSes on Saturday afternoon, informing them of the S$100 credit, according to text messages seen by The Business Times. Prudential Singapore said that it would also reach out through e-mails and letters.

Prudential Singapore said the error was caused by a "technical glitch".

This is likely an unprecedented incident in Singapore, with an inquiry report expected from Prudential and its payment bank Standard Chartered Bank in weeks to come. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) late on Thursday night issued a statement, saying that both Prudential and StanChart would have to investigate the root cause of the incident.

MAS said in its statement that it will take follow-up supervisory measures where appropriate. It is not uncommon for regulators to issue a penalty for such cases.

Prudential has about 900,000 customers here.

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