Ethiopia’s Largest Bank Faces Financial Strain Following System Glitch


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Ethiopia’s banking sector faced a significant disruption over the weekend as the country’s largest bank, the state-owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE), encountered a system glitch, resulting in unprecedented financial consequences.

According to reports from local media outlets, a technical malfunction within the CBE’s system led to an unforeseen scenario where customers were able to withdraw funds beyond their available balance. This glitch facilitated the withdrawal of over $40 million from the bank and prompted an influx of transactions, including transfers to other financial institutions.

The President of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, Abie Sano, addressed the issue during a press conference on Monday, acknowledging the severity of the situation. Sano revealed that a significant portion of the withdrawn funds were accessed by students, leading to long queues at ATMs located on university campuses.

In response to the incident, several universities have issued appeals urging students to return any funds that were erroneously withdrawn. President Sano reassured the public during the press conference that individuals returning the excess funds will not face criminal prosecution.

Contrary to speculation of a cyber attack, the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia confirmed via a statement that the service disruption was not the result of external interference. The bank assured customers that its ATM services have been restored to full functionality following the incident.

Ethiopia’s central bank, responsible for overseeing the nation’s financial sector, issued a statement emphasizing that the interruption was caused by routine system security checks and does not pose a threat to the stability of the banking system or its customers.

The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia remains committed to ensuring the integrity and security of its banking services, and efforts are underway to address the aftermath of the system glitch and minimize any financial impact on the institution and its customers.

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4 months ago