I recently opened a new account at my bank. We are changing from an S corp to an LLC so I put $500 into that account just to allow us to begin the transfer process. This morning I looked at my accounts on line and noticed that this new account shows a balance of $50,350.84. Obviously a banking error of some kind.
How long should it take me to decide what to do? Should I entertain the idea that the bank is a big corporate organization and probably won’t even miss this? Should I consider that I have worked hard to help a lot of people and probably really do deserve this windfall? Maybe this is God’s providence – I am destined to receive this. Maybe all that positive thinking is paying off in new ways. I’ve been eyeing a new Range Rover — perhaps this is just an example of turning “burning desire” into reality.
Do you know how easy it is to start down that slippery slope of justifying anything other than simply notifying the bank of their error? With $50,000 it may seem obvious. But what about when the cashier at Best Buy gives you $.51 too much change? Or when the waitress forgets to add your drinks to your ticket? Is the principle the same or does a small amount somehow get a different answer? If so, then where does character take over? Seems to me the easiest solution is to allow character to prevail no matter how small the amount. Remember the story about Abraham Lincoln walking six miles to return three cents to a customer he’d unintentionally overcharged while working as a clerk in a hardware store? It helped solidify his reputation as “Honest Abe.” I trust that my decisions merit a similar title.