Halkbank CEO comments on foreign exchange scandal
“Banking is a service sector that can be conducted 24/7. We have many individual and corporate customers. We are one of the banks that conducts foreign exchange purchases and sales through our customers’ internet banking when markets are closed. Nearly all banks get their foreign exchange quotes from Bloomberg Reuters. We get them from Bloomberg, too. After the markets have closed, we continue with Bloomberg data. If it comes to the dollar, we take the purchasing and selling rate and there are also interest rate differences between the two currencies.
The exchange rate data was not entered incorrectly but there was an incorrect entry deriving from the effect on the exchange rate of the interest rate differential between the countries as a corrective factor. We have encountered such an error for the first time.
It started at 22:01 and lasted for more or less half an hour. Our colleagues at our bank noticed it within fifteen minutes and shut off transactions. The accounts of customers who made erroneous transactions or made purchases or sales at a cheap exchange rate were blocked.
What happened here was an exchange rate arising from an error in the system. The circumstances here amount to unjust enrichment. So, our customers’ accounts were blocked and these transactions were reversed using special software. 1763 customers made purchases worth 4.6 million dollars.”
Halkbank also announced that a limited number of transactions had been made and depositors had suffered no loss.