Europe

German bank supervisor unfairly fired over 'sleep error'

Hand typing on keyboard

A German labour court has ruled that a bank supervisor was unfairly sacked for missing a multi-million-euro error by a colleague who fell asleep during a financial transaction.

The clerk was transferring 64.20 euros (£54.60) when he dozed off with his finger on the keyboard, resulting in a transfer of 222,222,222.22 euros.

His supervisor was fired for allegedly failing to check the transaction.

But judges in the state of Hesse said she should have only been reprimanded.

The incident took place in April last year when a tired bank clerk fell asleep at his computer with his finger pressed on the number two key.

His 48-year-old supervisor, an employee at the bank since 1986, told the court she had not noticed the error and approved the transaction.

Another colleague spotted the mistake later and corrected it.

The bank accused the supervisor of not even verifying the clerk's work.

But the court heard that on the day of the erroneous transaction, she had checked 812 documents for mistakes, with most taking just over a second of scrutiny.

The judges ruled that there had been no malicious intent on her behalf, and that she should have received a warning.

As a result, they ordered the bank to reinstate the supervisor, saying her work contract could not be terminated.

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