Commercial Bank of Ethiopia

Commercial Bank of Ethiopia
Commercial Bank of Ethiopia
Type Government Owned
Industry Finance
Founded 1963
Headquarters Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Products Financial services
Revenue ~
Total assets Birr 73.7+ billion (US$4.45+ billion) (2010)
Employees 9,000+ (2010)
Website Homepage
a street in the Somaliland border town of Wajaale hosting a branch

The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) is the largest commercial bank in Ethiopia and had about Birr 73.7 billion (US$4.45 billion), in assets at the end of June 2010. At the time, the bank held approximately 63.5% of deposits and about 38% of all bank loans in the country. The bank has about 9, 000 employees who staff the headquarters and 301 branches positioned in the main cities and regional towns, including 45 branches in Addis Ababa. CBE recently opened new branches in the remote towns of Injibara and Humera.


In 1963 the Ethiopian government split the State Bank of Ethiopia (est. 1942) into the National Bank of Ethiopia, the central bank, and the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE). In 1958 the State Bank of Ethiopia established a branch in Sudan that the Sudanese government nationalized in 1970. Then in 1980 the Government merged Addis Bank into the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia to make CBE the sole commercial bank in the country. (The government had created Addis Bank from the merger of the newly nationalized Addis Ababa Bank, and the Ethiopian operations of Banco di Roma and Banco di Napoli. Addis Ababa Bank was an affiliate that National and Grindlays bank had established in 1963 and of which it owned 40%. At the time of nationalization Addis Ababa Bank had 26 branches.

In 1991 when Eritrea achieved its independence, CBE lost its branches in Eritrea to nationalization. These branched formed the base for what became, in 1994 the Commercial Bank of Eritrea. Also in 1994, the Ethiopian government reorganized and reestablished CBE.

A few years ago, the government restructured CBE and signed a contract with Royal Bank of Scotland for management consultancy services. After the death of its former President, Mr. Gezahegn Yilma, the Board of Management appointed Mr Abie Sano as a new President of the Bank. Parliament recently increased the Bank's capital to 4 billion Ethiopian Birr. At some point CBE had a branch in Djibouti that it has since closed.

In January 2009, CBE received regulatory approval to open a branch in Juba, Southern Sudan.[1]

External links


  • Commercial Bank of Ethiopia
  • Brimmer, Andrew F. 1960. Banking and Finance in the Sudan. South African Journal of Economics 28 (1), 23-34.

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