PULLMAN, Wash.– Washington State University is resolving a banking problem that meant more than $7 million in payroll direct deposits to WSU employees’ financial institutions in Washington and across the U.S. were not posted as expected today (March 25).
Barry Johnston, WSU’s payroll services director, said this is the first time the procedure has failed in the 22 years in which salaries have been directly deposited.
He indicated that WSU followed normal procedures for the first half of March payroll and, on March 20, US Bank verified the totals and indicated the direct deposit tape was readable. However, at 7:30 this morning, a representative of the Washington State Employees Credit Union alerted WSU that accounts were not credited with the pay cycle deposits as they should be.
“We immediately called the US Bank Automatic Clearinghouse Division in Portland where it was discovered that the WSU payroll direct deposit tape was not processed through the Northwest Automated Clearinghouse in a timely manner,” Johnston said. “As a result, all WSU employees using direct deposit have not yet had their March 25 earnings posted to their accounts.”
Johnston said US Bank is making every effort to correct this problem swiftly.
“They have assured us that by today all employees using US Bank will have their earnings posted. By tonight, all employees using other banks, credit unions, savings and loans, or other financial institutions will have their earnings posted,” he said.
Johnson also indicated that US Bank is alerting all financial entities that receive WSU salary deposits “so that our employees are not harmed by this delay. U.S. Bank will cover all charges resulting from this error.”
The payroll director said several financial institutions have told WSU that they have taken steps to see that WSU employees using direct deposit do not see overdraft charges as a result of this problem. “If an employee does find an overdraft charge due to this problem, they need to work with their financial institution to seek remedy from US Bank,” he indicated.
Johnston said “this should not have happened and absolutely every effort will be made to assure it never happens again. There were safeguards in place to assure something like this did not occur. We are distressed that it did take place. We appreciate the immediate assistance of US Bank in resolving this problem.”
More than 7,000 employees including faculty, staff and students use direct deposit.