Coming soon to a bank near you? Twitter users start bank run in Kenya

Coming soon to a bank near you? Twitter users start bank run in Kenya
Greeks, worried in 2015. (Image via Bloomberg)

[Ed. – Don’t pooh-pooh the possibility of this in the U.S.  It’s a function of how worried people are.  And someone using the Internet can boost your worry level way out of balance.  What if you CAN’T access your account info online, because the “bank run” is overwhelming the bank’s IT systems?  Or because an orchestrated attack is denying it to you?  Can you afford to just sit back and trust the safeguards of U.S. banking regulations?  If you’re under 30, you may not even know what they are — you may never have been told, during your education.  Don’t think this can’t happen here.]

#KOT, or Kenyans on Twitter, are being blamed for a run on deposits that resulted in Chase Bank Kenya Ltd. being placed under creditor protection by the East African country’s regulators on Thursday.

Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge said “malicious comments” on social networks including WhatsApp Inc. were part of the reason the lender was placed under receivership.

“We had some individuals that shouted fire in a crowded theater room; to me there is nothing as reckless as that,” he told reporters in the capital, Nairobi. “If one made such horrendous statements, you can cause a run, some crisis. Indeed the bank was under serious pressure.”

Chase Bank on Wednesday sought to assure customers that it was operating normally as a flurry of comments on social-media sites speculated on the financial health of the company. Rumors on the safety of deposits and investments mounted following the resignation of Chairman Zafrullah Khan and Managing Director Duncan Kabui, and concern over a qualified opinion expressed by auditors on earnings that had been restated to show a surge in loans to employees and directors.

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