An unusual phenomenon has occurred in the Chinese banking industry in the past few days.

Depositors at the gate of Shanghai Bank have to form long lines to get their numbers before they can do their transactions. 

After the cash crisis hit several banks in Henan province, the authorities allegedly used the Covid app to restrict depositors from going to petition. 

And what’s more. Xi Jinping convened a Politburo meeting to review the 8th round of “rectification reports of financial units.”

Shanghai: Elders line for hours in Shanghai banks

According to Sina Finance, many banks in Shanghai have had depositors waiting in long lines every day to withdraw money. 

At the Yangjing branch of the Postal Savings Bank of China in Shanghai Pudong New Area, the bank window is limited to handle 40 numbers per day, and the ATMs are up and down. Some work, some not. Nearby residents, especially the elderly, have been tossed back and forth for many days to save, withdraw, transfer, and even pay utility bills.

According to Ms. Zhang, a depositor, the Xuhui Sub-branch of Postal Savings Bank of China on Tianyaoqiao Road, Xuhui District, has observed long lines since early June. Many elderly people are waiting in line outside the door, often for many hours. Ms. Zhang recorded it with her mobile phone. On June 6th, 7th, 13th, and 14th, the line at the bank gate showed an old man on crutches.

At a bank branch at No. 1615 Pudong Avenue, Pudong New Area, one staff member checked the monitoring and said that there were elderly people who came to line up at 2 am and could not get the bank window number until after 5 am.

Henan: Zhengzhou depositor’s red code nightmare

 After several rural banks in Henan froze depositors’ accounts without reason, many victims across China planned to go to Zhengzhou City to ask the authorities to help investigate these banks. But before they could get to the place, many suddenly found their health codes on the Covid app turned green to red. This means they could not move freely.

Tom Zhang is the owner of a textile company in Zhejiang. He told the New York Times that his health code turned red last Sunday, June 12, during his train trip to Zhengzhou, although he was from a town with no Covid cases. Upon arriving in Zhengzhou, the police stopped him and told him the red code meant he posed a public health risk. Then they detained him at a local library for about 12 hours. Tom Zhang said he had about 3 million yuan or more than 440 thousand dollars in deposits in his account.

Mr. Zhang was part of a group of hundreds of depositors in a few rural banks who had planned to lodge a complaint with the Henan Province bank regulator last Monday, June 13, after they could not withdraw their money for months. Few other people from this group also told The New York Times that their health codes had changed from green to red en route to Zhengzhou.

Many of the petitioners posted their red health codes on Chinese social media, saying that the sudden change was no coincidence.

Mr. Zhang said: “The red code was definitely used to limit us depositors. It was a complete absurdity.”

Xi Jinping’s financial rectification

On Friday, June 17, Xi Jinping held a Politburo meeting to review the “Eighth Round of Inspection Report on the Rectification of Financial Units.” 

According to Xinhua News, the meeting would aim to rectify some “prominent problems” and resolve some “risks.” 

Xinhua News’s press release also mentioned that the meeting “also studied other matters. “Chinese media Xiwang Zhisheng 希望之声 noted that this generally refers to personnel transfer, which might be related to the distribution of powers of the upcoming 20th Congress.

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