11,000 frozen accounts saga: The ‘mother’ of CIMB’s technical glitches?

CIMB BANK Bhd must be more proactive to look into ways and means to swiftly resolve the tendency of technical glitches of sorts plaguing both its online and physical banking platforms.

As recent as Jan 27, the bank said CIMB users would not be able to instantly transfer funds through its website and app for an indeterminate period due to issues caused by unusually high site traffic.

“We apologise to our customers for the interruption to the IBFT/Instant Transfer service on CIMB Clicks. Due to the unusually high traffic that we are currently experiencing, we have temporarily disabled the IBFT/Instant Transfer function,” CIMB said in a statement to The Star’s LifestyleTech.

Turn back the clock a little to Sept 13 last year and again, CIMB encountered major downtime with its Clicks, automated teller machines (ATMs), and cash deposit machines.

But both glitches were nowhere close to the latest incident whereby the bank came under heavy fire from two non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for allegedly freezing 11,000 accounts without notifying the holders even when the problem was caused by the bank’s own processing error.

The Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association (PPIM) and Agenda Reset Malaysia (ARM) warned that if the bank failed to address the problem in favour of the account holders, it would launch a campaign asking Malaysians to boycott the financial institution.

The so-called problem arose after an error by CIMB left accounts frozen and their holders in debt due to “excess amounts” credited by the bank into their accounts.


On Feb 3, the central bank told the Free Malaysia Today news portal that CIMB was now trying to recover the excess amounts credited to their customers.

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) said it had asked CIMB to ensure that whatever “recovery” measures it was taking would not burden its customers, especially those who were unaware that the excess money had flowed into their accounts.

It also said an investigation into this incident was currently in progress and that it would take appropriate supervisory and enforcement action (against CIMB) if warranted.

In its defence, CIMB said it merely put on hold monies that were accidentally deposited into some of its customers’ accounts while refuting that the accounts were frozen as claimed.

The bank further explained that a processing error resulted in the funds for the duplicate transactions being drawn from its own money, and not from the sender or the receiving customer.

“In line with the banking practice for such occurrences, we had placed a hold and earmarked the duplicate amount that was processed in order to recover the payments mistakenly made to the customers,” CIMB said in a statement.

“CIMB would like to reiterate that there was a processing error related to a specific third party financial remittance service that led to transfers made to our customers being accidentally processed twice.

“This resulted in affected customers receiving duplicate credits into their account, notably a duplicate transaction which effectively doubled the total amount of funds received by the customer.” – Feb 8, 2022

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