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Computer glitch costs Chinese bank dearly

by on02 January 2009


A golden opportunity, almost

at the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is not a happy camper these days. Due to a computer glitch last week, the bank offered a bid price for gold of 848 yuan per gram, nearly six times more than the actual going rate.

Greedy traders pounced on the offer, although it lasted just 23 minutes, and the Beijing Times thinks these 23 minutes cost the bank 10 million yuan, or $1.46 million. However, the traders' luck didn't last long, as on Saturday the bank posted a statement on its website claiming that its gold trading system had gone ape, and kindly asking users to return the windfall. Under the agreement signed by the users of the bank's gold trading platform, the bank has a right to ask for reimbursement, or at least it thinks it does.

However, on Monday, several differing points of view were offered by numerous lawyers, which isn't much of a surprise as we are, after all, talking about lawyers. Some pointed out the bank had no legal basis for seizing the money, as the clients didn't cheat it intentionally, and should shut up and take the loss caused by its own negligence. Others however, claim the profits constituted "unjust enrichment" and hat to be returned to the bank.

More here.


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