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China: Around The Nation

Blind customer sues Chinese bank for denying him a credit card

Shi Zhigang said he went to court to raise awareness of the frustrations facing blind people

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 February, 2017, 3:33pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 February, 2017, 5:32pm

A blind man has sued a commercial bank in China for refusing to issue him a credit card because of his disability, local media reports.

A branch of China Guangfa Bank in Changsha, Hunan province denied the credit card application of 26-year-old Shi Zhigang, who has been blind since birth, saying Shi would not able to read risk warnings on his application form, The Beijing News reports.

A local court heard the case on February 15, but has not announced its verdict yet.

Shi said he took the bank to court in October with the aim of raising awareness of the frustrations faced by blind people.

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His lawsuit seeks an apology from the bank; a pledge to change its discriminatory policies; a promise to provide more convenient service to blind customers, and that it pays him 30,000 yuan (US$4,370) in “spiritual compensation”.

Shi earns 4,000 yuan a month as a masseur and said he is content with his salary.

He has received a couple of credit cards from other banks since 2014. While applying for the cards, friends accompanied him to the bank and read the risk warnings to him before helping him sign his name.

An employee at the headquarters of China Guangfa Bank, who did not wish to be named, told the newspaper that blind customer could receive credit cards “in normal conditions”, but every branch had their own application procedures.