Chinese bank customers get some of their deposits back after protests

Financial regulators in central China’s Henan and Anhui provinces have pledged to return some deposits to bank customers following violent protests Sunday over frozen accounts.

On Monday, officials said customers with deposits of 50,000 yuan (about $7,400) or less would be refunded. Others, they said, with more bank balances would be refunded later, without giving a date.

The banks’ protests attracted widespread attention as angry depositors tried to travel to Zhengzhou in Henan to get their money back from six financially troubled rural banks.

Last Sunday they organized a large protest which was violently dispersed by undercover police and security forces.

The protesters were among thousands of customers who opened accounts at banks in Henan and neighboring Anhui province, where interest rates were relatively high. They later found they could no longer withdraw the money after media reports that the head of the bank’s parent company was wanted for financial crimes.

The regulators’ announcement was met with skepticism from customers, who have organized protests online and offline since April to get their money back.

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