A sign at an ICBC ATM machine says that the machine is having a malfunction and cannot provide any service at the moment. [File photo]
A system glitch suffered by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China paralyzed its over-the-counter, ATM and online trading in several cities in the country yesterday, sparking talk that it has run out of money before the bank issued a clarification later.
"Now the system has recovered and all services are back to normal. ICBC is deeply sorry about the inconvenience it has brought to the customers," the bank said.
The glitch had caused several of its customers to leave angry messages on ICBC's official page on Sina Weibo, the Chinese Twitter-like service, after they failed to draw or transfer their money from their ICBC accounts yesterday morning.
"I got no money from the ATM machine but the amount was deducted from my account. What happened?" a netizen named Liang Zejun said of an experience shared by many ICBC customers.
Many netizens offered this response "maybe the bank was having some problems with its cash" behind the system glitch. China's banks experienced a liquidity crunch last week, which saw the overnight interbank lending rate hit a record high on Thursday.
ICBC, the country's largest bank by market value and profit, said in a statement posted on Weibo at noon yesterday that the bank's over-the-counter and online services were impeded between 10:38am and 11:23am by a glitch as a result of a system upgrade in the early hours of yesterday morning.
Some of the cities affected by the glitch were said to include Shanghai, Beijing, Wuhan, Chengdu and Xiamen.