Nervous Afghans have started to withdraw their money from Afghanistan’s largest bank – Kabul Bank – after newspapers in the US started to publish news reports accusing bank’s executives involved in corruption.
The run on Kabul Bank, according to the publications of the Washington Post, continued on Saturday despite assurances by Afghan officials that customers’ money was safe.
“After we heard the news, I have come to Kabul Bank to close my account,” said Mohammad Nawaz, the head of an Afghan aid group who had been trying for three hours to withdraw $15,000 on his account.
“But it is very busy here; a lot of people are here to withdraw their money.”
Anxious depositors are still joining thousands of government employees queuing to collect their salaries, which were being paid through the bank.
“I was taking out most of my savings, but was not ready to close the account.” – said Mohammad Habib Angar, a calligrapher.
“For the time being I want to withdraw my money and then I will wait to see what will happen next,” he added.
“If the bank is able to create confidence, for sure I will put my money back in Kabul Bank because I do not want to close my account.”
However, Adbul Qadir Fitrat, the governor of Afghanistan’s central bank, dismissed all the reports of the Washington Post that the bank had been taken over.