Process Fun: Sleepy German bank clerk’s 22.2 million euro error

Oops – did you mean 222,2222,222.22 or 62.40?

Feeling a bit tired on the job is something to which we can all relate. Perhaps a late night the day before or a spot of insomnia leaves us feeling a little like old Rip Van Winkle. Most of the time fatigue results in nothing more than a slight dip in productivity.

But one German bank clerk found out the hard way that sleepiness can be serious. As in 222,222,222.22 million euros ($29.6 million USD) worth of serious.

The clerk, at an unnamed German bank, fell asleep with his finger on the 2 key as he was transferring 62.40 euro (83.06) from a pensioner's bank account.

The case recently emerged at an employment tribunal case brought by the bank supervisor who had been fired for not spotting the mistake. The bank supervisor said she had checked over 800 documents of transactions that day and that failing to spot the fat-fingered mistake was an honest error. (The court agreed, ruling that she should have received a warning rather than getting sacked).

Time for a new compliance strategy?

Meanwhile, rumour has it that the bank has put additional compliance procedures in place which include a mandatory cup of coffee for all employees in the morning. (We’re kidding about this of course….)