A German Bank Accidentally Transferred $5.4 Billion to Four Other Banks

Germany’s state-owned development bank KfW, which gained publicity for erroneously transferring hundreds of millions of euros to Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. the day the U.S. firm filed for bankruptcy, has done it again.

KfW in February mistakenly transferred more than 5 billion euros ($5.4 billion) to four banks because of a technical glitch that repeated single payments multiple times, according to people familiar with the matter. The total amount transferred was as high as about 6 billion euros, said one of the people, who like the others asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

“KfW has detected the system’s incorrect behavior very early in the process, immediately mitigated the unwanted action and started the necessary process of analyzing the causes,” the bank said in an emailed statement. “The mistake was rapidly identified and eliminated, and the amounts overpaid were successfully demanded back. We regret that during works on the systems, this incident could happen due to human error owing to a configuration mistake.”

Read on.

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