NewsZurich scrambles to recover $200 million after payroll glitch

Zurich scrambles to recover $200 million after payroll glitch

Costly mistake in Zurich
Costly mistake in Zurich
Images source: © Getty Images | William Whitehurst
3:03 PM EST, February 28, 2024

A technical mishap has led to considerable confusion in Zurich, inadvertently resulting in 30,000 city employees receiving twice their expected compensation for February, as reported by American businessinsider.com.

Under Swiss law, employees are required to return any overpayments, posing a significant administrative burden. The website elaborates that this situation emerged from a technical glitch, unexpectedly boosting the balances in employees' bank accounts.

Zurich endeavors to reclaim the funds

According to local media reports referenced by the website, Zurich is working to reclaim roughly 175 million Swiss francs, or about $200 million. This overpayment to city workers stemmed from a "technical processing error," the city's finance department clarified.

The double payment error also affected politicians, who received extra compensation for their parliamentary attendance in February. Zürcher Kantonalbank, responsible for processing these payments, has apologized for the oversight.

The city administration has been overwhelmed with calls from bewildered employees, some of whom humorously suggested the surplus might be an adjustment for the current high inflation rates.

Swisscom, a telecommunications provider handling transactions for the bank, has been pinpointed as the source of the error, though the precise reason for the mishap remains undetermined.

"With 30,000 employees, there are many special cases," commented Claudia Naegeli, a spokesperson for the city's finance department, as quoted by businessinsider.com.
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