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Commercial Bank of Ethiopia says 490,000 transactions were made during the “systemic glitch” 

Commercial Bank of Ethiopia
Abe Sano, President of Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, during a press conference, March 18, 2024 (photo: screenshot from FBC video)


Toronto – A day after the National Bank of Ethiopia released a statement regarding the alleged system glitch incident that happened in the course of “improving and testing” the bank system, the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia on Monday said that there was no attack on the bank’s cyber security that affected the bank. 

In a press statement, Abe Sano, president of the bank said “There have been attempted cyber attacks but the bank’s cyber security was not compromised.”

Just like the National Bank of Ethiopia, CBE said the systemic problem was encountered during work to improve the banking system. The problem was linked to a “missing code”, as the president told journalists in the capital Addis Ababa.  The service was suspended at the time in an attempt to avert additional loss, it was said.

Abe Sano added that the outcome of the process of fixing the problem will be made public but he did not indicate a timeframe. 

The new information that he shared during the press conference is that during the hours that the system was having a problem, over 490,000 “unhealthy and illegal” banking transactions were processed.  However, he refrained from the amount of loss incurred as a result of those transactions. A  Wazema report on Sunday, which cited Fortune as a source indicated, only 66,000 transactions during the “systemic glitch.” There were reports that an estimated 6 billion birr loss was incurred but the president did not confirm that. He rather said that the amount is “small but the process was painful.” 

According to a report by FBC, state media, the president also said that money transferred during those hours are blocked not in order not to be withdrawn. 

Investigation of the transactions is still underway and those clients who have conducted “high transactions” have been reported to security authorities, State media cited the president as saying. 

The bank has confirmed that those who were mostly involved in the transaction are University students and that they are returning the money after their names were disclosed. And those who have not yet returned are asked to return it. The report unspecified the universities that were linked to the incident. There were reports that  Addis Ababa University Faculty of Technology and Jimma University students were highly involved in it. 

The President also said that Commercial Bank of Ethiopia clients should not be worried as no loss is incurred to their accounts.


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  1. I demand this president of the bank submit his resignation letter pronto. This happens under his watch and the buck stop at his office for not being ahead of scammers. He now tells us how many egregious transactions were made in a very short of time and he still can not tell us how much money was pilfered. The bank management staff should be overhauled. Get him and his entourage out of there. Like the saying goes during similar situation in corporate America/world: Blow him out of there!!!


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