STORY: Video obtained by Reuters showed people holding banners that read "No deposit, no human rights" and "Against the corruption and violence of the Henan provincial government" outside a People's Bank of China building.
Scuffles broke out, and a loudspeaker was used to warn people to leave the area.
“Your actions have been deemed as illegal. Leave in 10 minutes. If you do not heed instructions from staff on site, if you do not leave and if you continue to disrupt society, the police will take stern action," the warning blasted from the speaker said.
Security personnel ran towards them as a man’s voice was heard chanting: “Thugs! Thugs! Thugs!”
Several people at the protest on Sunday said they were injured when heavy-handed security personnel dispersed the crowd.
The banks froze millions of dollars’ worth of deposits in April, telling customers they were upgrading their internal systems. The banks have not issued any communication on the matter since, depositors said.
None of the banks has responded to emails and telephone calls seeking comment.
Chinese media has reported that the frozen deposits could be worth up to $1.5 billion and authorities are investigating the three banks.
Reuters was not immediately able to reach police for comment.
The banks, which include the Yuzhou Xinminsheng Village Bank and the Shangcai Huimin County Bank, are under investigation by the authorities for illegal fundraising, the state-run Global Times reported.
More than 1,000 depositors from across the country had planned to gather in Zhengzhou last month to try to withdraw their money but they were unable to when their COVID-19 health codes, which determine if one can travel, switched to a "no travel" status.