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Financial Crisis Strikes Ethiopia’s Premier Bank After A Technical Problem Emerges

The financial domain of Ethiopia was abuzz with turmoil recently when the largest bank in the country, the government-owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE), encountered a system issue, resulting in significant financial consequences.

Local media outlets revealed that a system malfunction in CBE permitted customers to withdraw funds surpassing their account balance. This oversight led to more than $40 million being withdrawn from the bank, triggering a surge in transactions, including transfers to other financial institutions.

Addressing the issue during a press conference on Monday, President Abie Sano of the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia acknowledged the seriousness of the situation. Sano revealed that a substantial portion of the withdrawn funds was taken out by students, resulting in prolonged queues at ATMs located on university campuses.

In the aftermath of the incident, numerous universities have encouraged students to return any incorrectly withdrawn funds. President Sano reassured the public that individuals returning the surplus amount would not be subject to legal consequences.

To dispel speculations of a cyber assault, the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia issued a statement confirming that the service disruption was not caused by external meddling. The bank verified that ATM services have been completely reinstated post the incident.

The central bank of Ethiopia, responsible for overseeing the nation’s financial system, clarified in a statement that the disruption stemmed from routine system security checks and does not pose a threat to the stability of the banking system or customer safety.

The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia remains committed to upholding the integrity and safety of its banking operations. Steps are being implemented to deal with the aftermath of the system glitch and minimize any financial impact on the institution and its clientele.

Image Source: Yohannes Ezra / Shutterstock

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