While thousands of depositors in Henan, China, are desperate to retrieve their savings, depositors in Shenzhen revealed that there had been signs of bank runs recently.

Since mid-April, depositors at many rural banks in Henan have encountered difficulties in withdrawing money. They have been fighting for two months to recover their savings. However, the victim depositors found their health code inexplicably assigned a “red code” by Henan officials, making them unable to protect their rights. The incident has caused a severe setback in people’s confidence in commercial banks in China.

Depositors in some other places have also unveiled a tide of bank runs, an incident in which people rush to withdraw their money from a bank over concerns of possible bank troubles.

In Liaoning Province, a bank run has occurred recently in Dandong City. 

A netizen posted a video on Twitter on June 19. It shows a long queue of people waiting to withdraw money in front of the Bank of Dandong.

The netizen revealed in the video that he went to a rural bank to withdraw cash, but it had no money. When he went to the Dandong Bank, it was crowded with people, and he was not sure if anyone was able to withdraw their money.

In Shanghai, many banks have had crowds of customers since the city lifted the lockdown in June. Those banks have limited the number of customers per day, citing the epidemic prevention measures.

A video describes that some elderly pensioners in Shanghai rushed to queue outside one bank. They lined up from 2 a.m. but still could not withdraw their money. Others arrived at 5 a.m. and couldn’t even get a queuing number.

(Mr.) Hao is a citizen of Longgang, Shenzhen. He told an independent media on June 22 that the difficulty in withdrawing money from banks did not start recently but has been around for some time.

Hao said that two months ago, he went to several ATMs of the Agricultural Bank of China, and there was no cash available at those machines, so he couldn’t get any money. Then he went to see what was going on and found that depositors from several other banks were also unable to withdraw money.

Hao said he couldn’t withdraw money from the Bank of China, China Construction Bank, and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. These are the major state-owned banks in China.

But there are seemingly no problems with online banking transactions.

Hao said he can still use Alipay, an online payment app, to pay and transfer money.

State media has indirectly confirmed a wave of bank runs in China. Chinanews.com citing the People’s Bank of China, reported that the total amount of its cash supply in the first half of June alone has nearly quadrupled compared to the same period in 2021. 

However, the bank did not elaborate on whether the amount was sufficient to meet people’s withdrawal needs.

There is another worrying sign of cash supply. The Agricultural Bank of China limits a depositor’s withdrawal amount to 150 dollars.

A netizen, namely @yunyunfengfeng, posted a video on Twitter on June 21. It shows that a depositor was in trouble when withdrawing money from the Agricultural Bank of China.

According to the video, a male depositor asked a bank clerk at a counter in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province, why the withdrawal amount was limited to 150 dollars per day.

The clerk did not answer directly but asked if the depositor worked in Jiujiang.

He replied that he works in Shenzhen but lives in Jiujiang. Then the bank clerk asked if he had a residence permit.

The depositor said he had a property certificate and asked why he needed a residence certificate. He also questioned why there is a limit of 150 dollars for people from other cities.

The clerk replied that she didn’t stipulate it, but the system set it automatically.

At the end of the video, the bank clerk did not give the depositor a reasonable explanation but walked away.

Some netizens also reported that other banks in Beijing set a transfer limit of 750 dollars.

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