Elderly woman in Shanghai surprises bank with withdrawal request using a 54-year-old passbook

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25th May 2024 – (Shanghai) An elderly woman discovered a 54-year-old passbook at her home in Shanghai and decided to check if she could still withdraw funds. The passbook, bearing the name “Bank of China Shanghai Branch” (formerly known as “People’s Bank of China Shanghai City Branch”), revealed a remaining balance of ¥4.18. Undeterred by the passage of time, the woman embarked on a journey to the bank.

Upon learning of the situation, the bank promptly assigned staff members to handle the case. According to the bank’s regulations at the time, dormant accounts with a balance exceeding ¥2 but less than ¥10, without any changes within two years, were categorized as “sleeping accounts.” To trace the flow of funds in the account, the bank deployed two dedicated officers to search for any reported lost passbook accounts between 1971 and 2000, including the one held by the woman.

After approximately two days of meticulous investigation, the bank confirmed that the woman’s account had not been reported lost, and the funds were still intact. As a result, the bank expedited the necessary procedures and transferred both the principal amount and accrued interest to the woman’s account, demonstrating exceptional customer service.

Considering an interest rate that decreased from 2.16% to the current 0.3% over nearly 50 years, the woman’s account gained an additional ¥3.37 in interest, resulting in a total balance of ¥7.55—almost double the amount from 54 years ago. The woman expressed her deep gratitude for the bank’s compassionate handling of the matter, emphasising that it was not the sum but the bank’s heartfelt efforts that touched her profoundly.