Halkbank launches probe into irregular transactions

Halkbank launches probe into irregular transactions

Halkbank launches probe into irregular transactions

Turkey’s Halkbank’s has launched a probe over a $4.6 million transaction made at incorrect foreign exchange rates late on Aug. 31. 

Halkbank Director Osman Arslan made a statement about the transaction late Aug. 31, after 1,763 clients bought dollars and euros below their market value on Halkbank’s website.

Speaking to private broadcaster NTV, Arslan said the accounts were blocked, adding that the bank did not suffer any losses.

“The banking sector is a 24/7 service sector. We have many individual and institutional clients. We are one of the banks where our clients can continue their foreign currency transactions with internet banking after markets are closed. Nearly all banks get buying and selling rates from Bloomberg and Reuters. We also provide them from Bloomberg. We continue with Bloomberg’s inputs after markets are closed,” said Arslan.

“There is no wrong entry in terms of the foreign currency input. But there is a mistaken entry stemming from rectification effect of interest rate gap between the countries’ currencies. It is the first time we came across such a mistake.”

The said transactions started at 22:01 and continued for half-an-hour approximately. On the 15th minute bank officials became aware of the incident and stopped the transactions, according to Arslan.

“The foreign currency rate is due to a mistake in the system. This is a situation that leads to unjustified enrichment. That’s why the accounts of the customers were blocked. The transactions were rolled back with special software,” he said.

Arslan said they launched an investigation, while the bank will ask the service provider to start a probe as well. “If we spot vulnerability in our system we will take necessary measures,” he added.

According to Arslan, other banks did not face a similar experience.

“What we witnessed is an unpredictable technology-related incident. But the amount of transactions is very limited and all is corrected. Our clients have not had unfair income and the bank has not suffered losses.”

“There were no traces of hacking or a cyber-attack. We will see whether there is bad intention. We will seek investigation from relevant authorities,” Arslan said.