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China: Around The Nation

Chinese man loses fifth of savings after fire damages 130,000 yuan stashed in his home

Bank of China branch in Henan province allows Zhu Xiaobao to redeem only 28,000 yuan worth of the damaged banknotes

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 January, 2017, 3:40pm
UPDATED : Friday, 20 January, 2017, 3:40pm

A Chinese man who chose to stash 130,000 yuan (HK$146,000) in cash at his home instead of keeping it in a bank lost most of the money after his house caught fire, mainland media reported.

Zhu Xiaobao, from Xincai county in central Henan province, was able to recover only 28,000 yuan worth of the damaged banknotes – about one-fifth of his savings, Henan Television reported.

Firemen were called to put out the fire, which started while no one was at home. The report did not say when the fire took place.

Footage during a television news report showed Zhu holding a box full of burnt and disintegrated 100 yuan banknotes last Monday morning while visiting banks to try to exchange the damaged money.

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“These are the 50,000 to 60,000 yuan that were found in my house after firemen put out the fire,” Zhu said

According to the report, Zhu had borrowed the 130,000 yuan from different people, but it did not say what he had planned to do with the money.

Zhu redeemed some of the damaged money at a Bank of China branch in Zhumadian, about 113km from his home, after two other banks were unwilling to help him.

An employee at the bank in Zhumadian finally agreed that those damaged banknotes that were still 50 per cent to 80 per cent intact could be exchanged for new notes totalling half their original value, the report said.

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Those notes that were 80 per cent to 100 per cent intact could be fully redeemed.

The bank told the television company that other customers had come to the branch in the past to redeem burnt banknotes, but no one had visited before with damaged banknotes worth as much.