On July 11, the Henan office of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission launched its advance payment plan.

July 15 was the day when banks started making advance payments. However, money withdrawals were not straightforward, and depositors couldn’t get their money due to online system problems.

In the bank announcement, local authorities stated payments would be assigned in batches to customers of four rural banks. The payments will be made to a person or entity with a combined amount of less than $7,400 and will be made successively with a separate notice for those wanting over that amount. The first payment will be on July 15.

Many depositors say that on the evening of July 14, they received a text message indicating access to the “Village Bank Advance Payment” mobile app, advising for withdrawal the following day.

However, on the first day of payment, many problems hindered depositors from getting their money.

Some people say after filling in the mobile phone number, the system displays “the mobile phone number is not in this batch.”

Another tries to log in, but the system shows he has not registered.

Some others are stuck on the ID card submission page or cannot complete the login procedure.

Kaifeng New Oriental Rural Bank said customers’ accounts on the self-operated mobile banking platform would enable them to resume normal banking business. At the same time, some people reported the page displayed, “Too many people are currently accessing the system, please try again later,” and then the page wasn’t accessible. When many depositors upload their identity documents, the website crashes and cannot be uploaded successfully.

Since April 18, the phenomenon of “difficulty in withdrawing funds” has appeared in many Henan rural banks. The turmoil has intensified, and the system is still not functioning adequately.

Some commentators believe village banks are the most vulnerable link in China’s financial institutions. In particular, bank management tends to focus its funds on local real estate. Once the real estate slumps, banks will be in crisis, affecting depositors.

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