Recently, many bank account users in China simultaneously reflected on the ongoing situation; their bank accounts were frozen for no reason. It is difficult to explain that they can still send money into the account but cannot withdraw it, which makes the community worried and bewildered about the bank’s reputation. Some customers said that after their accounts were frozen, they could still transfer money in and deposit money at the ATM but could not transfer money out or withdraw money. Before the storm of public opinion, the bank explained this is to “prevent money laundering criminals.”

Since the incident of being unable to withdraw money from four rural banks in Henan, negative factors such as insufficient reserves, tens of trillions of yuan in debt, or changes in the highest senior personnel in the banking system have been reported in many banks in China. Now many customers worry about the safety of deposits at banks. Many people question whether asking a bank to keep money is safe or not? On Wednesday, July 6, a netizen posted a video showing the bank’s service lobby was packed with customers attempting to use a bank card unlocking service.

One customer shared: “Yesterday, my bank card had a balance of more than $1,500, but I couldn’t use it because I couldn’t withdraw money. I can only deposit money but can’t withdraw it. Now I go to the bank to unlock my card. After more than two hours, I finally finished withdrawing money. Before this unusual phenomenon, some bank staff explained that recently, this situation appeared to prevent money laundering or illegal transactions.”

The customer said that not only did he encounter such an ironic situation, but many other customers encountered the same problem, having to go to the bank to unlock their accounts.

Another customer said: “Just yesterday my bank card was suddenly suspended and unable to work. At that time, I was shopping, and when I swiped my payment card, it could not work. The machine said my bank account was locked. To check the card, I transferred money into it, it still worked normally, the card still received money but when I transferred money to pay, the transaction could not be done. This shows that my bank card was not normal. I could not make a withdrawal.”

Bank accounts frozen for withdrawals, half-closed and half-open

Many users ask why the bank does not notify customers when the ATM card function is suspended? When noticing an abnormality in his bank card, a man immediately went to the ICBC branch and waited in line to unlock it, but when he got to the bank, he was shocked because there were so many people in this situation.

He said, “I didn’t expect that many people’s accounts were suspended. I wasn’t the only one who had this problem. We were all terrified. The bank didn’t notify us and suddenly locked the account.”

A female customer says in the video: “Last night my husband and I went shopping and paid, and saw an abnormal bank card account number. I was worried, and immediately this morning, my husband went to the bank to check the account, but suddenly, my husband discovered that more than 100 account holders were frozen, just like us. After listening to it, I was really shocked and did not understand what was happening.”

The woman said their income is mainly deposited in the bank, when going out without carrying cash, if the account is frozen, what will happen to the remaining half of the month? Many bank customers have recently encountered this situation, including at the Merchants Bank of China, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the China Construction Bank, and the Agricultural Bank of China.

Previously, a large number of bank accounts were frozen for no reason at Henan Yuzhou Xinminsheng Village Bank, Zhecheng Huanghuai Village Bank, Shangcai Huimin Village Bank, and Kaifeng New Oriental Village Bank. Then the banks took actions such as replacing the board of directors, the chairman of the supervisory board, and the senior management personnel. In response, netizens responded by posting that they are not interested in changing the bank’s management, but what concerns them now is, when will the five rural banks above repay money for 400,000 depositors, equivalent to about $6 billion in deposits.

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