Ethiopia’s Commercial Bank Struggles After Glitch Allows Unlimited Withdrawals

Ethiopia’s Commercial Bank Struggles After Glitch Allows Unlimited Withdrawals

Ethiopia’s largest bank, the state-owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, is facing a major setback as it tries to recover millions of dollars lost due to a technical glitch over the weekend. Reports from local media indicate that more than $40 million was withdrawn from the bank or transferred to other financial institutions after customers were able to access unlimited funds. The glitch allowed customers to withdraw more money than their account balance, leading to chaos and long lines at ATMs across the country.

Following the incident, the bank’s President, Abie Sano, addressed the media in a press conference where he revealed that a significant amount of the withdrawn cash came from students. It was reported that students flocked to campus ATMs to take advantage of the glitch, further exacerbating the situation. In response, several universities have urged students to return money that does not belong to them. President Sano assured the public that individuals who return the funds will not face criminal prosecution, providing an incentive for the return of the misappropriated money.

In a post on social media platform X, the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia acknowledged the service interruption but denied that it was caused by a cyber attack. The bank clarified that the glitch was a result of internal system issues rather than external interference. Despite the chaos caused by the incident, the bank assured its customers that its ATM services were now operating normally. Ethiopia’s central bank, responsible for regulating the country’s financial sector, issued a statement emphasizing that the interruption was a routine security check and did not pose a threat to the bank, its customers, or the overall financial system.

The incident involving the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia serves as a wake-up call for financial institutions regarding the importance of robust cybersecurity measures and system checks. While the glitch caused significant financial losses, the bank’s response to the crisis, including encouraging customers to return the misappropriated funds, demonstrates a commitment to transparency and accountability. As the bank works towards recovering the lost funds and restoring public trust, it is essential for all stakeholders to learn from this incident and implement measures to prevent similar disruptions in the future.

Global Finance

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