Bank customers panic, crowd to withdraw savings

Photo: Photo: Boyko Kichukov A crowd of peo­ple at the bank's cen­tral office in Sofia.

Cus­tom­ers of Cor­po­rate Com­mer­cial Bank (CCB) stood in a long queue in the morn­ing hours of 17 June to with­draw their depos­its from one of the bank's two exist­ing offi­ces in the city of Var­na.

Cus­tom­ers of Cor­po­rate Com­mer­cial Bank (CCB) stood in a long queue in the morn­ing hours of 17 June to with­draw their depos­its from one of the bank's two exist­ing offi­ces in the city of Var­na. Near­ly 30 peo­ple wait­ed out­side the branch on Brat­ya Geor­giev­ich Street, wor­ried by recent media spec­u­la­tions and fear of bank­rupt­cy, Dar­ik Radio report­ed.
"There have been rumours that the bank is in troub­le. I heard peo­ple talk­ing about it for two hours in a TV pro­gramme. I am scared it may go bank­rupt, but there are oth­er peo­ple beside me, who are afraid they may lose their mon­ey," a female cus­tom­er said.
Var­na res­i­dents are par­tic­u­lar­ly sen­si­tive to the issue of bank­rupt­cy because many of them lost their sav­ings in var­i­ous finan­cial schemes in the 1990s. The bank man­age­ment tried to explain the sit­u­a­tion to the line of peo­ple out­side its branch while tor­ren­tial rains flood­ed the coast­al cit­ies streets, and said the office in ques­tion had to close down tem­po­ra­ri­ly because of the inun­da­tion. How­e­ver, there has been an unu­su­al crowd­ing of peo­ple at the bank's cen­tral office in Sofia, as well. Appar­ent­ly, Sofia res­i­dents have not for­got­ten the major bank cri­sis of 1996-1997, when some peo­ple lost every­thing, while oth­ers became mil­lion­aires.  
Mean­while, the man­age­ment of Bul­gar­ia's tobac­co man­u­fac­tur­er Bul­gart­a­bac announced on 17 June that it had start­ed clos­ing all of its CCB accounts. The news came by way of a state­ment by CCB's exec­u­tive direct­or.

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