Banker falls asleep and triggers $293 million transfer

A German bank employee dozed off at his keyboard and accidentally triggered a 222 million euro ($293 million) funds transfer. Of course, the order didn't go through, but the man's colleague was fired for not catching the mistake immediately when verifying the transfer. According to the AFP, the colleague sued and the court ruled that he should get his job back. No word on whether the sleepy employee is still on duty.


  1. Hearing from places with actual employee protection laws is like reading stories from God damn Fairy Land.

    1. Hi.  Welcome to Europe.  They were considering changing our official tourist slogan to “Not as corporate-owned as the US, yet!”, but the UK vetoed.

  2. read somewhere else that the sleepy employe was only given a warning. fair enough I reckon.

    1. So there was no validation in place for insufficient funds? Or did the individual employee retirement account he debited have more than a quarter billion dollars in it?

      I wonder what the overdraft interest rate is on that.

  3. According to the BBC article on this, the colleague was actually his supervisor. She was required to verify and approve transactions made by her clerks, and she approved this. She never caught it: I’m not sure where the “not catching the mistake immediately” thing came from. This lead the bank to fire her, accusing her of not actually verifying any of the transactions she was supposed to verify if she allowed this through. Another colleague caught the error later.

    On her side, she checked 812 documents on the same day, and spent a little over a second each approving most of them. The court ruled that because there was no evidence of malicious intent on her part, she should have received a warning and could not be fired.

    Without knowing more about the processes involved, it’s hard to say whether this was an incompetent employee or a poor process. I don’t think it’s likely that it was simply a mistake made by a good employee in a good process. The close to a thousand documents she needed to check that day do suggest that this could be a case of a verification policy that simply wasn’t reasonable, with employees expected to “verify” numerous mundane documents far too quickly; this is especially the case if the bank knew that she was approving these so quickly.

    1.  Sounds like the best job in the world: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes…. Playing the odds.

  4. the truth is even funnier.
    The guy did fall asleep on his keyboard and the face typed number was actually 222222222 Euros

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