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The Accidental Bank Robbery, Coursework Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1020

Coursework

In this case, Chris is a relief manager, meaning he is working at a branch he is not used to. This forces him to make decisions on a variety of issues despite a lack of background knowledge on that particular branch. Usually, he leans on experienced employees for help, but he is working at a branch with a relatively inexperienced staff. This puts him into an unfavorable position. The specific case involves a new teller, Carole, who was nine hundred dollars short when she tried to reconcile her window. Chris was able to find the specific error, in which she marked a one hundred dollar check for one thousand. The customer in this transaction is a highly valued customer and when asked about it, he claimed he only received one hundred dollars. Even when the severity of the issue was explained, he did not change his story. With no way to recover the nine hundred dollars, company policy says Chris needs to report this and that will lead to Carole’s termination.

For Chris, the ethical issue is that he does not want to be responsible for Carole getting fired, but company policy dictates that he follow a course of action that will result in this for her. He must consider the possibility that Carole has lied in an attempt to embezzle the nine hundred dollars. He may feel that her story is true, meaning that the customer has the extra nine hundred, but he has no way to prove that. He cannot check to see how much the customer has taken and does not want to upset the valued customer by repeatedly questioning his honesty. If he believes the customer, Carole will be fired, but it is possible that the customer’s dishonesty is the real issue. Ultimately, Chris needs to decide who he trusts more, Carole or the customer. This is difficult since he has limited experience dealing with both.

The primary stakeholders are obviously Carole and Chris, as both of their jobs are dependent on the decision he makes. However, other stakeholders include practically all of the employees of Commerce Trust Bank. The other bank tellers and managers are forced to adhere to policies that may be violated in this case. In the same way, it affects higher level employees who set the policies in question. Finally, since the bank’s money ultimately comes from their depositors, they have a stake in what happens in regards to missing money.

Chris thought of two ways of dealing with the situation. He could debit the customer’s account by nine hundred dollars. He could also put the money in a temporary suspense account and let the problem be dealt with later. One option he did not consider is reporting it as the company policy states even if this will result in Carole being fired. Another would be to try and contact the customer again to attempt to locate the money. However, the risk here is irritating a loyal customer. Finally, he could audit the rest of her window ledger. It is possible that she gave out the correct amount on this transaction, but made several other mistakes throughout the night that totaled nine hundred dollars.

The first option is unacceptable. Chris cannot debit the customer’s account after the customer denied receiving the extra money. This would almost surely result in the loss of the customer, which is a negative for all stakeholders, especially if the customer is a large depositor. Considering that Chris already asked the customer about the money multiple times, inquiring again is unlikely to do anything but further annoy him, making this option unattractive. Dealing with the problem by placing it in a temporary suspended account is an attractive option, made more so Chris’s inexperience at this branch. Perhaps when the normal manager resumes his duties, that manager will be able to deal with it more effectively based on his experience surplus over Chris. However, doing this would breach the company policy, negatively affecting those who set it, the employees who follow it, and ultimately the bank depositors.

My recommended course of action would be for Chris to finish checking Carole’s ledger looking for other errors. As she is a new employee, it is possible that she made many errors and the money can still be located. However, if it cannot Chris should report the shortage. This is what policy dictates should be done, well serving all of the employees of the branch. Also, by dealing with it in this manner, Chris can deter other tellers from trying to embezzle money through a similar method, serving the depositors.

The unfortunate part of this action is that it hurts Carole, who may simply be the victim of a dishonest customer. However, Chris cannot eliminate the possibility that Carole tried to take advantage of a manager unfamiliar with the branch and took the money. Pending a further review of the ledger, it seems that Chris can probably trace this money to one of those two. While either decision would be difficult, a longtime customer can likely be trusted more than a new employee.

Some might say that this course of action is unfair to Carole. However, assuming a proper further audit does not reveal another possible source of the discrepancy, Chris has certainly been fair to her. Her window came up significantly short, he went through her transaction history, found one possible source of discrepancy, and looked into it. When this line of inquiry did not reveal the source of the discrepancy, there was nothing more for Chris to do for her sake. Believing her side of the affair after all of the investigation did not support it would be going beyond a required level of fairness to her. While firing an employee when there is a possibility that she does not deserve it would not be optimal, ultimately some action has to be taken. Punishing the employees or depositors who were not involved is not a good idea, meaning it must be her or the customer. Again, Carole has less of a history with the company, and therefore it is more likely that she is at fault here.

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