The rotten truth of banking on buried savings
Updated: 2011-05-25 14:47
By Jia Xu (chinadaily.com.cn)
A damaged 100-yuan note Li buried underground one year ago is shown on May 20 in Luxiang county in Changchun, capital of Northeast China's Jilin province. [Photo/CFP]
Like many people his age, 75-year-old Li was fearful of banks.
So when the farmer from Luxiang county in Changchun, capital of Northeast China's Jilin province had to move from his home to find work in the city, he buried his hard-earned 10,000 yuan savings ($1,540) in the backyard.
He had saved the money for over 10-years from painstakingly planting crops in his remote village and had carried the cash in a secret pocket in his underwear for eight years before burying it in 2010.
Li holds the damaged cash which he buried underground one year ago in Luxiang county in Changchun, capital of Northeast China's Jilin province. [Photo/CFP]
But when Li returned to dig up the cash on May 20, he was left speechless and in tears after discovering his savings had literally rotted away.
"Every penny I earned came out of intense labor work," said Li adding the fact that he was also unmarried.
Out of 10,000 yuan only 6,300 remained in complete shape, others were either torn apart or completely damaged by the soil. Bank staff suggested he bought Scotch tape to stick the ripped parts back together again in a final attempt to salvage some of his money.
Luckily Li redeemed 9,050 yuan by exchanging the old notes for new at his local Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), local media reported.
Damaged 100-yuan notes Li buried underground one year ago is shown on May 20 in Luxiang county in Changchun, capital of Northeast China's Jilin province. [Photo/CFP]
"The elderly still hold the view of not troubling the bank when it comes to saving money, they like to have the cash in their sight," said Wang, vice director of ICBC Changchun branch, who helped Li with the exchange.
"I would never save money in a secret underground. The bank is the safest place," Li said.
A bank official surnamed Wang examines the cash Li asked to exchange at the ICBC Changchun branch on May 20, 2011. [Photo/CFP]
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