Students Make Off With Millions After Ethiopian Bank Glitch

Students Make Off With Millions After Ethiopian Bank Glitch
Students Make Off With Millions After Ethiopian Bank Glitch

In an astonishing turn of events, the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE), the nation’s biggest financial institution, encountered a severe glitch that allowed customers to withdraw funds far exceeding their account balances.

Over the weekend, more than $105 million was rapidly withdrawn or transferred to other banks, causing a significant financial setback for the state-owned entity.


Detailed Breakdown of the Event

Unlimited Withdrawals

Customers of the CBE discovered a loophole that enabled them to withdraw unlimited amounts of money far beyond the limits of their account balances. This anomaly persisted for several hours before the bank’s officials could intervene and halt all transactions.

Students Seize the Opportunity

A remarkable portion of the withdrawn funds was attributed to students, who quickly took advantage of the glitch. Reports from local media highlighted that ATMs, especially those located on campuses, saw long queues as students withdrew vast sums of money.

The Ethiopian banking sector recently found itself in a highly embarrassing predicament. Estimates suggest an astonishing withdrawal range of 2.4 to 6 billion Ethiopian Birr, translating to a staggering 42 to 105 million US dollars. This unexpected financial turbulence has reverberated through the halls of several prestigious institutions.

CEB Ethiopia
CEB Ethiopia

Students from Addis Ababa University, Jimma University, and Dilla University were at the forefront of these massive withdrawals. The sheer volume of funds extracted has raised eyebrows and prompted serious discussions about the Ethiopian banking system’s financial management and security protocols. This incident highlights significant vulnerabilities and casts a shadow over the trustworthiness of financial institutions in the region.


Bank’s Response

In response to this crisis, Abie Sano, the President of CBE, addressed the issue in a Monday press conference. He appealed to those who withdrew money to return it, offering assurance that no criminal charges would be pursued against individuals who complied.

Official Statements

Following the chaos, CBE took to X (formerly Twitter) to acknowledge the service disruption. However, they refuted any claims suggesting a cyber-attack was behind the malfunction. The bank assured its customers that its ATM services had been fully restored to operational status.

Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s central bank issued a statement describing the event as a consequence of routine system security checks. They emphasized that this incident did not compromise the security of the bank, its customers, or the nation’s financial ecosystem.


Financial Implications

A Costly Glitch

Initial estimates of the financial impact of this glitch vary significantly, with figures ranging from 2.4 to 6 billion Ethiopian Birr. This converts to approximately $42 to USD 105 million, illustrating the massive scale of the problem faced by the CBE.

Calls for Rectification

Universities across the country have issued statements urging students to act ethically by returning the funds that do not rightfully belong to them. This move comes as the bank and national authorities scramble to mitigate the financial damage and prevent such occurrences in the future.

The incident has caused a financial strain on Ethiopia’s largest bank and sparked a nationwide conversation on cybersecurity, financial management, and ethical conduct. As the CBE and Ethiopian authorities navigate this crisis, the coming days will be crucial in assessing the long-term impacts of this unprecedented event on the nation’s banking sector.