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Case Code: CLBE021
Case Length: 2 pages 
Period: -  
Pub Date: 2009
Teaching Note: Not Available
Subject : Business Ethics
Organization :--
Industry : Banking
Countries : --

First Commonwealth Bank Vs Starbirds*



In 2007, First Commonwealth Bank deposited a good sum of money in the bank account of an Altoona couple by mistake. After realizing its mistake, it sued the retired couple to get the money back. The couple claimed that they had intimated the bank about the mistake several times and had started spending the money only after some employees of the bank reassured them that the money was theirs.
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  • Ethics.
  • Legal
In 2007, while going through their bank statement for October, retired couple Herbert and Becky Starbird living in Altoona (Pennsylvania, USA) were taken aback when they found an extra US$280,276.76 had been deposited into their account with First Commonwealth Bank (FCB). According to the couple, they had called the bank several times to inform it about the wrong credit to their account but they had been told by the bank that it was not a mistake and that the money belonged to them...
Questions for Discussion:
1. Was it ethical of FCB to sue the Starbirds when what happened was clearly due to its own mistake?

2. According to you, what would have been the ethical approach for the bank to take once it realized that it had deposited the amount in the Starbirds' account by mistake?.


Ethics, legal, First Commonwealth Bank, Starbirds

* This caselet is intended for use only in class discussions.
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