Commercial Bank of Ethiopia
The government owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia holds around Birr 49 billion worth of assets. With around 8000 employees, the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia is recognized as the largest in the country. The bank operates in more than 200 branches all over the regional towns and main cities. Around 40 of its branches, including its headquarters, are located in Addis Ababa, while its more recently opened branches are situated in the country’s remote towns, Humera and Injibara. Early in 2009, the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia received a regulatory approval allowing them to open up another branch in the southern part of Sudan, Juba.
Originally, the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia was known as the State Bank of Ethiopia. However, the Ethiopian government decided to split the bank into the central bank, the Bank of Ethiopia and the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia in 1963. Eventually, in 1980, the Ethiopian government decided to merge the Addis Bank with the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, making CBE the country’s sole commercial bank.
Before it was merged with the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, the Addis Bank was created by the Ethiopian government from the merger of the Ethiopian operations of Banco di Napoli and Banco di Roma with the newly nationalized Addis Ababa Bank.
The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia is noted as the pioneer of modern banking in the country. It was the first bank to serve ATM services for its locals and the first to serve Western Union Money Transfer services in the country. Apart from this, the bank also plays a major role in directing Ethiopia’s economy towards development and progress.
As of today, the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia has around two million account holders. It also maintains a SWIFT bilateral arrangement with around 500 renowned foreign banks, as well correspondent relationship with more than 50 others.