According to Apollo, more than 300 depositors of Henan rural banks gathered to protest in front of the Henan Supervision Bureau at 5 am on June 25. 

They were demanding access to their savings since Henan rural banks have suspended any cash withdrawals from April 18.

It is estimated that more than 400,000 depositors across the country cannot withdraw their money with a total amount of more than 6 billion dollars involved.

This money is the life savings for many people. Failure to withdraw cash has led to many tragic situations.

Chen Li, a depositor at Henan rural banks, says that among these depositors, some have sick children and urgently need money for surgery. In another case, one depositor had to sign a consent form to give up treatment for their ill mother because they cannot withdraw the money to pay for it. Consequently, the mother died.

As reported by Sohu News on June 23, a 50-year-old single mother is raising two children independently and taking care of her elderly and sick mother. She works from 6 am to 8 pm every day. In her spare time, she knits bracelets for small factories and sets up stalls at night markets. She has saved 34,000 dollars, which she had deposited in rural banks. When her mother’s cancer worsened, she couldn’t pay the costs for treatment. Therefore, her only option was to choose to give up the treatment. Her mother can still not be buried because she cannot afford cemetery costs, with all her money frozen in the bank.

Chen says tragedies like this will happen one after another. If people can’t get the money, they can’t survive.

Depositors have protested so many times for their money to be returned but to no avail.

Hoping there will be no more tragedies of losing loved ones due to withdrawal failure, victims of rural banks continued to protest on June 25.

They hung up white cloth placards with the words “Henan rural bank, pay back my life savings,” “Rural banks collude to steal people’s deposits,” or “Rural banks prohibit depositors from withdrawing.”

Demonstrators requested real names of officials for dereliction of duty who colluded with a lazy and inactive government. Rural banks closed the online withdrawal channels without permission more than two months ago. Hence, depositors demand the immediate restoration of their withdrawal freedom.

The authorities not only are ignoring their demand but also arranged for men in black and white to scare them away.

Previously, people planned to protest in early June. However, they were stunned to find their health code turned red when arriving in Zhengzhou (郑州 Zhèngzhōu), Henan. Although authorities are investigating the incident, the red code problem and money withdrawal issues have not been resolved yet.

People say they don’t know how long they can last under these conditions.

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