According to an analysis from SecretChina, several cities in mainland China are showing varying signs of restrictions on cash withdrawals. Some banks limit the withdrawal amount to no more than 150 dollars, and others limit the number of withdrawals. Meanwhile, depositors have to wait in long lines to withdraw money.
This phenomenon has occurred more frequently since April, after depositors at many rural banks in Henan province encountered difficulties in withdrawing money. They have been fighting since then to retrieve their savings.
In fact, there was a major new banking regulation earlier this year. Accordingly, as of March 1, there are some restrictions on bank deposits and withdrawals, but with an amount of over 50,000 yuan, the equivalent to nearly 7,500 dollars. What is more, the bank must verify and understand what the money is used for.
Following this regulation, when individuals go to commercial banks, rural credit cooperatives, village banks and other financial institutions to deposit or withdraw more than 50,000 yuan or more than 10,000 dollars in foreign currency, they will have to verify their identity in detail.
Chinese authorities minimized the restrictions saying they were mere formalities and people would not have problems as long as they could prove the money came from a legitimate source.
However, because of the identity verification process, some people who are not proficient in banking cannot withdraw money even with their ID cards. It will not work if there is slight negligence or discrepancies with their previous filling.
Some depositors have reported they went to the bank to withdraw money and were told that a huge sum did not exist or that it had been transferred.
As Secret China reported, so many restrictions make people doubt if the banks are cracking down on illegal funds, creating difficulties for the depositors to withdraw their savings, or if they are robbing the money secretly.
According to recent reports, customers encountered many obstacles when they went to the banks to withdraw their savings.
Even big cities with better economic conditions are experiencing troubles. Recently, some banks in Shanghai have also imposed restrictions on withdrawals.
Mainland media reported that those lenders in Shanghai let depositors wait in long lines to withdraw money. Some elderly people wait sitting on small benches from 2:00 a.m. to get their pensions. Others arrived at 5 a.m. and couldn’t even get an available number.
And even big banks have problems.
A few days ago, a branch of the Agricultural Bank of China in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province, suddenly limited withdrawals to 150 dollars a day without notifying depositors in advance. The Agricultural Bank is one of the four major state-owned banks in China.
A male depositor questioned a bank staff about which law says he could only withdraw 150 dollars a day. He was told that the banking system automatically set it up that way.
The scandal of frozen deposits in small rural banks in the Henan province has not been solved. Many are anxious because they cannot withdraw money and recover their savings from those banks.
According to mainland media reports, a 50-year-old woman lost her 90,000 dollar deposit. She was so anxious that she was almost blind in her left eye.
There was also a 47-year-old man who worked hard in the construction industry for 20 years and saved nearly 6 million dollars. His spirit almost collapsed as the savings were gone.
As for the banks’ operations, they have been reducing their scope of business. Some banks now limit their transactions to 40 a day.
Depositors also complain that ATMs are not working regularly.
However, the more withdrawals are restricted, the more people go to banks to withdraw money. There are more signs of a bank run in some parts of China.
This has prompted views that China’s national treasury is shrinking as the mainland economy is experiencing a rapid slowdown.