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Banking Crisis Hits Ethiopia’s Top Bank Following A Technical Issue

Image Source: Yohannes Ezra / Shutterstock

Ethiopia’s financial sector was rocked by a major disruption recently when the nation’s biggest bank, the state-run Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE), experienced a system malfunction, resulting in severe financial repercussions.

Local media sources reported that a technical glitch in the CBE’s system allowed customers to withdraw funds exceeding their account balance. This error led to over $40 million being withdrawn from the bank, causing a surge in transactions, including transfers to other banks.

During a press briefing on Monday, the President of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, Abie Sano, addressed the situation, recognizing its gravity. Sano disclosed that a considerable amount of the withdrawn funds were taken out by students, leading to long lines at ATMs on university grounds.

Following the incident, multiple universities have urged students to return any mistakenly withdrawn funds. President Sano assured the public that individuals returning the excess money will not face legal repercussions.

Dispelling rumors of a cyber attack, the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia released a statement affirming that the service disruption was not due to external interference. The bank confirmed that ATM services have been fully restored after the event.

Ethiopia’s central bank, which oversees the nation’s financial system, clarified in a statement that the disruption arose from routine system security checks and poses no threat to the banking system’s stability or customer security.

The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia remains dedicated to safeguarding the integrity and security of its banking operations. Measures are being taken to address the fallout from the system glitch and mitigate any financial impact on the institution and its clients.

Image Source: Yohannes Ezra / Shutterstock

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